Over the years, I have written about the importance of customers to a business. A business wants to keep their customers and they want them coming back on a regular basis. A business works hard to gain a customer and if a business will do the “right things” for their customers, the business is building the foundation for long-term success. Getting a customer is expensive. I am always surprised by all the great lengths and expenses business go through to get a customer to walk into their store or business, and then the business drops the ball on customer service and/or miss out on a “add-on” sales opportunity. You want to make it easy for your customer to do business with you.
For small businesses to survive against the big box stores and online competition, they must deliver a customer experience that the customer cannot get from a big box store or online site. Outstanding customer service is one of the key strategies for a small business’s success in the 21st Century. The business that makes it easy for the customer to do business with it and the business that makes the sale an enjoyable experience is going to win.
So, what are some of the basics of good customer service? Here is my list: 1) Did you receive prompt, courteous service? 2) Was the salesperson who served you helpful and informative? 3) Were you satisfied with the selection you could choose from? 4) Were you satisfied with the product or service you purchased? 5) Would you spend money again with the business? The list is simple, but hard to execute.
A business can spend thousands of dollars to get a customer to walk-in the door and then miss the sale due to bad customer service. I am amazed at the number of times I ask a business owner what their conversion rate is for their business (conversion rate is the number of walk-ins divided by the number of sales) and they don’t know. The key to focus on is the opportunity a business has when a customer walk-ins and how to translate that into closing the sale and increasing sales per customer by “add-on” sales.
H-E-B does a great job with “add-on” sales. The classic add-on sales are “buy two of these items and get the third item free.” The other way to gain “add-on” sales is to package items together. “Buy this honey roasted ham and get these five items for half-price.”
This “add-on” sales process works and it happen to me all the time. I am looking at an item and I am not sure I want to spend the money, but I see that I get these other items at half-price or free, and I am suddenly sold. We all want to think we are savvy shoppers. The key element for an effective add-on sale is that all the items need to be displayed together so that the customer does not have to walk around the store finding them. Make it easy for your customers to do business with you.
Another variation of the strategy is “go with” sales. If you have electronic devices that require batteries, put a battery display next to the electronic devices, with a sign that reads, “Don’t forget the batteries.” These ideas are simple and easy ways to increase you sales and to bring customers back.
See you in McAllen!