Did 2011 go the way you wanted?
Do you want 2012 to be better?
Here are two things you can work on right now that won't cost you an arm and a leg, but will make a difference.
BEAT YOUR CUSTOMER'S EXPECTATIONS
Your customer has a set of expectations of how she will be treated when she comes through that door. Either she knows what to expect because she has been there before, or she thinks what to expect based on your reputation or advertising.
And when you meet her expectation, she may smile, she may even say, "Thanks!" But that is as far as it goes.
When you exceed her expectation, however, magical things begin to happen. By the power of reciprocity she feels like she now owes you one.
She may repay that by feeling more loyal to your store and making a return visit.
She may repay that by gushing about you to her friends.
She may repay that by spending more the next time she is in.
One way you can exceed her expectations is Generosity. Is there something you can give away that will pleasantly surprise her? A classic example is the jeweler who changes your watch battery for free. Doesn't advertise it, just does it. My favorite example is the expensive restaurant with the mouth-watering dessert menu. You and your friends have decided to split a dessert or two when the waiter comes to the table exclaiming how he is in a good mood and would like to buy dessert for everyone at the table. Do you think you'll be bragging about this restaurant for a while? Of course you will. And you will be going back sooner than you think.
For more ways to exceed your customers' expectations, download my free eBook Customer Service: From Weak to Wow.
SAY SOMETHING REMARKABLE
Your advertising is blah. How do I know? Because 99.9% of the advertising out there is blah. That is why it does not work. It has nothing to do with reaching the right people. It has nothing to do with the medium you are using. It has everything to do with you not being brave enough to make a bold statement.
Most ads are written not to offend. And they become so beige that they do not move the needle at all. Since about 90% of the population is not shopping with you right now anyway, who are you afraid of offending?
The best phone call I ever received happened last December. A gal called to tell me how much she hated my ads. At first I thought it was a prank. But when she did not break from this message, I asked her why she hated them. She said, "Because you make it sound like all the other stores sell crap." Good! That is what my ads were supposed to say.
Spice up your advertising by saying something bold. Back it up with evidence. Make it interesting and relevant. Without spending a penny more, the money you are spending on advertising will become far more effective.
Do those two things and you will be praying the Mayans were wrong about 2012.
PS Not sure what to say in your ads? You should read these three eBooks. Don't worry. They are short, sweet, and best of all, FREE. Read them in order and email me if you have any questions.
Understanding Your Brand (and the accompanying Worksheet)
How Ads Work Part 1
How Ads Work Part 2