Category: Delight the customer

Are you really open when you’re open?

One of my biggest gripes that happens with bricks and mortar businesses is in regards to opening and closing times.

Businesses that close at 5:30pm, but already look closed at 5:15pm.

Do you think that makes the customer feel comfortable or uncomfortable? It’s obviously the latter, and making customers feel uncomfortable is a problem for business.

Here are three examples:

  1. Being in a cafe and they start taking the garbage out and stacking chairs while you’re there (within the advertised opening time).
  2. Being at a retail store that starts shutting down computers and is more focused on packing up then helping you.
  3. Taking the signs in from outside before you’ve closed so to anyone passing by you look closed already.

You might think it’s an efficient use of time because business is slow in the last 15 minutes, but let me promise you that giving a customer a substandard experience certainly won’t start attracting more customers. You’ll just end up getting quieter and quieter.

Think of the big brands, they generally have a 10 minute and 5 minute call ready for their doors to be closed at that time. There’s a consistency, but they don’t reduce the experience you’re getting so they can get out early.

The benefit behind a bricks and mortar store is that you have the opportunity to immerse your customer in an experience that online stores can’t match.

How good is that experience if you’ve already started packing up or if you’re not ready when people arrive in the morning.

Your customer experience should be like an event. You don’t rock up to a concert and they’re still setting up. The stage is set before you arrive. You don’t want the magic to be tainted because some of the musicians were just hanging out in front of the curtain before the curtain opened.

And there’s another danger – they stop coming because you look closed!

If you’re paying rent for a bricks and mortar store, it’s important you look open when you’re actually open – especially if you’re paying premium rent at a site that has good passing traffic.

Life’s too busy for customers to remember when everyone closes, so if you look shut I just don’t stop. It’s that simple.

Be open when you’re open, and close when you’re closed. If you don’t want to stay till 5:30pm then set the expectation that you close at 5:15pm and delight them if they come to the door and you grab something for them.

The point:
Whatever you do, when a customer interacts with your business give them the full experience and your full attention.


Read more blogs on how to delight your customer here, or download our free ebook ’10 things small business must stop dong NOW.’

Why movement matters in retail

Retail marketing assistance consultancy movement merchandising

When something moves, we pay closer attention to it.

But how stagnant is your business?

A couple of weeks ago we had a fun post on our Facebook page with those air filled stick men they often have on top of a Godfreys store denoting a ‘special event’  (yes one of many). But it doesn’t have a sign saying sale, all we know is that it signifies something going on.

5 things you need to know about music in your business

Four years ago I was staying at the Sofitel Brisbane. I walked in to the room and a song was playing on the TV – “Life is magnifique”. I actually left the song on the TV for much of my stay. I loved it. It fit perfectly with the ambiance and brand values of Sofitel which is as a French luxury hotel where “life is magnifique”.

I tried to get the song, but found it was recorded specifically for Sofitel and wasn’t publicly available. The other day I stumbled across a video clip of it, and I’ve played it over and over again.

Together with my background as an event manager it has always been important for me to understand how, during the customer experience, we reach out to all of the senses.

1. Have ‘some’ audio at the right level 
Now it’s not just about having the right music to connect, it’s about having ‘some’ music. I’ve been in to stores where there is NO music. It feels stark. It feels uncomfortable to talk in. Any sudden sound from dropping a plate too heavily to having the phone ring can instantly startle people. No one likes to feel like they’re the only noise in the room. Unless you’re a library, you’ll at least want some ambient sound (it’s not enough to really notice, but it takes the chill off the silence). You might have it at a level where it’s noticeable but doesn’t interrupt conversation, then of course if you’re an entertainment venue you’ll known where your sound levels need to be at. 

2. Get the right music
We all have iTunes. Make up a play list that suits the right times of the day, and fits with the values of your business. As yourself, how do I want my clients to feel? Think of your business as a movie scene…you want the right mood to set the scene.

3. Get coverage correctly positioned
You may have areas of the customer experience where you want your audio levels to be quieter (like service areas) and louder (like on the street to get the vibe). But I’ve seen some businesses that are too loud in one area and almost silent in the next.

4. Don’t promote your competitors
Don’t use a radio station if your competitors advertise on it flat out. The last thing you want to do when you’re trying to immerse customers in your brand is to have your competitors name bouncing in!

5. Make a memory
I’ve stayed in a lot of different hotels, but as soon as I heard the Sofitel song again, I immediately remembered the time I had in Brisbane, what the room looked like, the lounge on the top floor, the gym, the restaurant for breakfast. All of that experience was aligned too – Magic and magnifique. The sensory experience of my time at Sofitel came flooding back to me. So understand that music takes people back to memories so make sure the experience they remember is good enough to have them raving about you.

Now…here’s the song if you’d like to listen. Still not available other than on this clip:


If you enjoyed this blog, you might like to read Is your brand on the nose? 


Your target customer is NOT everyone!

A few questions to warm you up…

Ever thought your customers were stupid for “just not understanding?”

Have you got one (or several) of those customers that just whinge all the time?

Do you doubt that your marketing is generating as much income as it costs you?

Then chances are, you haven’t determined your ideal customer. Stop thinking about what you like to tell everyone and start thinking about what your best customers care about.

Here are 5 things you need to know…

1. Effective businesses attract customers they don’t chase them.

Stop throwing stacks of money behind blanket advertising hoping to grab customers and tempt them to come in.

Know your ideal customer so you know where they are and what they’re doing. Then the aim is to become part of their lives.

There’s no use throwing TV ads on if your ideal customer loves outdoor adventure and is a dedicated watcher of the ad-free ABC.

Yet many businesses do just that…


2. You’ll have more than one ‘ideal customer’ type.

We often create buyer personas for one or two primary customer types. Then you might have a few other secondary customer types but my advice is to get really good at knowing your primary ‘ideal customer’ first. You want to create key marketing messages that hold true and authentic value. The trick is not to rely on blanket advertising to the masses otherwise you’ll confuse the market with mixed messages. Instead you’ll need to ensure you target those messages to where only those people see them. This is why digital and social channels are so beneficial. You can easily segment the ideal message to the ideal target customer.


3. It goes beyond how old they are, where they live and what’s between their legs.

Demographics are all about the measurable aspects of a person: Gender, Age, Income. The thing is today’s world is full of individuals.

People don’t hang out in age groups anywhere near as often as they used to. People are much more diverse than that now.

We want to understand what people value and the things they need/want in their lives to make their lives better. For this example, I’d like to point out for my international readers what a ‘bogan’ is. It’s a slang stereotype used in Australia and New Zealand, generally a lower working class or not working at all, that may be a bit uncouth or a bit loud (most Aussies have a bit of bogan in us somewhere). This explanation makes more sense soon…

To the example: I coached a retail store a few years back and they had two primary customers, one of whom were CUBs, also known as “Cashed Up Bogans.”

We knew that these guys (aka humans) were probably the first generation to have disposable wealth. They’re probably partners of FIFO workers or trades people and may not be quite as turned on by refinement as they are by features. They’d likely drive a top of the line Holden rather than a Mercedes. They’d more likely live in a suburb where the houses are new and big, rather than a leafy classic street of traditional homes. So why was knowing all this so important? Because the stock was bought with them in mind. They liked bigger things that were shiny, not the things that were handcrafted.

In the same way, any advertisements that you use would include the visuals and the messages that would appeal to this buyer.


4. Some customers just don’t want you…

Don’t take it personally (many business people do). Why don’t all those people want my product? It’s either because they don’t know yet why they need it (and you’ll need to focus on nurturing that relationship) or simply because they’ll never care about your product. It simply doesn’t fit in to their life, and you need to be Ok with that.


5. Stay focused, say no, hold your nerve.

Steve Jobs was well known for his ability to say no and stay focused on the project at hand. It’s that same focus that you need to have on matching what your business does best, with the buyers that want it most.

This will mean that you’ll get offers for advertising that sound like they’ll reach lots of people, but if they don’t reach the RIGHT people, you should feel comfortable to say no. With the focus on who you do want, and who will likely want you, you’ll notice that those customers who are problematic eventually aren’t there anymore, replaced with more of those that are easier to serve.


Create your own buyer personas:

So now that we’ve determined your target audience isn’t “everyone”, I want to give you something that will help you ‘profile’ your ideal customer/s.

Here’s a simple chart to get you thinking about what makes your ideal customer tick. Click on the image below, or download it here.

Buyer Persona worksheet download