It’s Memorial Day. I’m sitting on the beach (in my tent with my shirt, hat, shades on – I know). At about 6pm I spy a family that looks like it stepped out of a J. Crew Catalog. I imagined they just came from an expensive dinner at an overpriced restaurant and would soon retire to the swanky beach home they were renting for the holiday week. Just then, as the family waded in a picturesque manner (you know what I mean), the two year-old son did what any human child would do – he plopped down in the water in his fancy duds. I laughed out loud.
Much like the scorpion in the fable, humans will do what they do, despite our optimism – or our wardrobe choices.
So, what’s a business to do when customers behave the way customers do – namely start looking for lower prices, trendy options, or the next shiny object?
Don’t be alarmed. Don’t panic and, just as a cool parent would do with a soggy-bottomed toddler, don’t let them see you sweat.
Sure, it can be scary when customers start looking around, but rather than react, try to discern why. Is there a product or service the competition offers that you don’t? Should you add it (only better)? If so, do that immediately and make sure ALL your customers know about the change because you don’t always know who is antsy.
If instead, your customers are merely suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out) or are easily distracted, understand that they are acting just as we should expect and just as you do.
Ever had a great hair stylist but end up seduced by some fancy schmancy salon promising a method that will change your hair (and perhaps even your life) forever? When you go back to the tried-and-true stylist to fix those chopped-off layers (true story) she doesn’t scold you for disloyalty. Sure she might be feeling a little smug, but she won’t show it. She knows you’re feeling a bit sheepish, so she does her best to put you at ease.
When customers have strayed, or are on the prowl for something new, this is where email and social media marketing can be incredibly powerful. Do you have a list of current and former customers? Have you kept in touch with those you haven’t seen in a while? Let them know you are around, are interested in making their lives better, and are adding new options, services, whatever it is – to serve them better.
Laundrywise, our catalog family might have done better to keep the little fella away from the water, but I’m guessing he enjoyed his little dip as much as I did.
Ralph’s Awesome Post of the Day: