Creating products and offering them for sale isn’t enough to guarantee your riches. People have many choices as to what to buy, who to buy from, and whether to buy at all. Therefore, you need a strategy for reaching your ultimate goal of making money, and that strategy is simple – make your customers smile!
Today I’m going to tell you three short stories. Two of them are about companies who just didn’t get this simple concept. This is a HUGE mistake – especially in today’s economy and with today’s technology. Words of warning can spread in seconds like wildfire telling other would-be customers to stay away.
The third company got it right, and it cost them nothing to do it, but they’ll reap the benefits for a long, long time.
Discount Warehouse Discounts It’s Customers
Our first story begins at a large, national discount warehouse that sells everything from plants to clothing to groceries. I’ve been a satisfied customer with this company for many years. But, a recent experience left me wondering if they are now discounting their customers (de-valuing them) the way they do their merchandise.
This warehouse has a food bar. It’s nothing fancy and they only offer a handful of items. In all my years of shopping at this warehouse I had never once stopped at the food bar.
Then, one evening after I had finished my shopping and checked out, I decided to take the plunge and get a frozen yogurt. I told the food bar cashier what I wanted, and then I added a small special request. Could he please put some chocolate syrup on top? My mouth was already watering as I could see the chocolate syrup behind him on the counter.
To my surprise the cashier told me no, he couldn’t do that. I thought he was joking! I said, “Are you kidding me?” He said no, he really could not do that. I never asked him why. I just canceled my order and left.
My guess is that this company has calculated the cost of their food offerings and the profits from them down to the last penny, and they are so strict about adhering to their calculations that they won’t budge. The chocolate syrup is for lattes, and lattes only. If they put the chocolate syrup on frozen yogurt, that creates a problem for the finance department. They must stick to the rules, never mind what the customer wants.
Online Book Company’s Shady Shipping Practices
A couple of days ago I ordered three books from an infamous online book company. You know the one.
In the past, this company has always impressed me with their shipping time. I usually had my books in two to three days after my order was placed. But lately that hasn’t been the case, and I was reminded of this with my current order.
First, this company told me my products would not ship out of the warehouse until the 22nd – six days after I had placed my order. I found this frustrating since all my items were in stock.
Then, they shipped two of my books ahead of schedule, which was great, but not the third one. I checked again, and yes, that third title is in stock. They didn’t have to back order it, so why the delay?
Perhaps the third title was coming from a different warehouse, but I have no way of knowing that. To make matters even more interesting, the third title is a time sensitive one and I suspect the company knew that, which makes me wonder if they are shipping it late on purpose in order to get me to join their two day shipping club.
If this company truly has a good reason for shipping items so late, and for shipping an in stock item later then the rest of the order, they should alert their customers as to these reasons BEFORE the order is placed. That way, the customer is aware that their items will take a while to ship out of the warehouse, and that some items may ship later than others even though they were not back ordered.
As for me, I am certain I can find my books from another source in the future.
A Sensational Shoe Store That’s Full Of Surprises
Last night I stopped by my local Pay Less Shoe Source to see if they might have a pair of dressy white flats for my daughter. I had checked several other stores and come up empty.
Fortunately, the clerks in this store are helpful, and as I was browsing a clerk approached me and asked if I needed some help. I explained what I was looking for and she found the shoe for me. But, when she realized they didn’t have the right size, she offered to check another store.
I wondered how long this might take. Would she have to call them and wait on hold while they at the other store were helping customers? As it turned out, a quick check on the computer told her exactly where I could find the shoe in the right size, and it was at a location not even two minutes away! And to make my experience even sweeter, she gave me a coupon for a $3.00 discount on the shoes since I had to drive to another location.
I zoomed over to the other store where they were holding the shoes for me at the counter. I told the clerk I hoped these would fit my daughter, and she pulled two other pairs of the same shoe from the shelf – one a size larger and one a size smaller – and set them aside for me just in case I needed to make an exchange. Then, she checked her computer to see if a location closer to my home (I was 20 minutes away) might have those sizes. Sure enough, there was a store just around the corner from me that did. I bought the shoes and headed home.
As it turned out, my daughter needed a size smaller than what I bought, and we had just enough time to make it to the closer location before they closed. While we were there, my daughter found a second pair of shoes she liked, and I purchased those as well.
Summing It All Up
What can you learn from these stories? First, if the customer has a special request and it’s within your power to do it, DO IT! Second, if you have a practice that is outside the norm or something will take longer than expected, tell your customers up front! And finally, whenever you can, go the extra mile to make your customers smile!
To your riches!
PS: Are you ready to go the extra mile to make your customers smile? You gotta start somewhere and it all begins with getting that booklet written and produced. How about it? Are you ready? Click here!
PPS: Don’t forget to click on one of the links at the top right of this page to subscribe so you never miss a single, important post! Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you! Also, if you like this post, please share it on your favorite social website. Thanks!