The Fourth of July is the American Independence Day. If you’re marketing to customers in the U.S., don’t miss this opportunity of doing a special promotion or marketing message. I’ve put together some ideas from other bloggers.
Mistakes happen. Someone mixed up a customer order or made up a bill wrong. You send out an email to the wrong list. There’s a bug in the rice. (This happened to me not so long ago.)
No matter how hard you try, how good your employees are, or how rigorous your quality-control process is, some things slip through the crack.
It’s how you manage after the mistakes where your company’s culture and customer support shows. How you handle the customer after she complains, or after you discover the mistake, determines whether you can manage to retain her.
When I got that tiny bug in my rice, the restaurant manager apologized profusely and when I refused another serving of rice, offered another dish as replacement. We were at a lunch buffet, but for the rest of the meal, we got served at the table. It’s been some months, and I still remember the incident, but I have mostly good feelings about that restaurant. In contrast, I’ve had many experiences at other restaurants where the wait staff made a mistake but were quite blasé about it.
So I found this recent email from the CEO of PowToon both amusing and admirable.
You probably have a Facebook page for your business if you are a restaurant or an established retail business. How do you promote your page? How do you reach out to the same people online who are already coming to your physical store?
Most businesses rely on their customers (or prospects) to find them online and like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter. But why not actively close this loop? Let’s look at examples of some businesses in Pune who are doing this.
1. apniChai asking their customers to like them on Facebook
We recently met up with Sahil Khan, whose online lifestyle magazine, the Tossed Salad, has a dedicated following. Sahil is also very active on Twitter, and he has been successful in helping restaurants use social media effectively. But hold on — you can listen to the details in his own words in the video below.
And if you’d rather read than watch, the transcript is below. My questions and comments are in bold.
Call it marketing or customer service or just call it business strategy — you hardly need to debate the importance of demonstrating to your customers that you value them. We all want to retain customers and usually go above and beyond to please them — by giving something extra, by offering lower rates, or by providing premium service.
Larger businesses have loyalty programs to handle this, but small-business owners usually like to use their own discretion and not allow employees an easy way to make these decisions. But good employees want to keep regular customers happy. They may go ahead and offer these “extras” anyway — by giving the room overlooking the pool, making small repairs in addition to the contracted job, or by over-pouring.
These “extras” are part of your cost of retention, but do you know how much that cost is? Are these extras proportional to the business you are getting from those customers? Are these extras in addition to the priority rates/service you are offering those customers? All these are important questions, but the most important question is — Does your customer even realize you are giving her something extra? Continue reading →