What Will Your Customers Think of You?

What Will Your Customers Think of You?

by Danny Summers

Most of the time if you ask yourself this question, or even ask your team the question, the responses are likely based on overall feedback, aka "gut feel." While you may hear positive feedback, most of what comes to the surface are those customers who have a problem - the negatives. So in the absence of problems, you may think everything is GREAT. But is it?

Just rocking along with "gut feel" and absence of negative issues is not the best way to manage your Center's Customer EXPERIENCE. Notice I have experience in all caps? We'll come back to that in a minute.

Another issue to just rocking along is that it does not provide ideas of where your Center can improve or innovate.

You may remember the image above as I have used it before. Last January I used it in a blog message titled, "How Will You Know" and it too was focused on knowing more about how your customers will rate your Center. In that message, I referenced a famous song that seemed to fit... here are some details:

It was November 22, 1985 and a young Whitney Houston offered her debut album. On it was a soon-to-be hit... How Will I Know. The lyrics of Whitney's song were crafted around a boy-relationship (of course), but the title also fits this customer-relationship message. One of the prominent lines is "How will I know... if he really loves me?" Now let's pivot to your Center and the spring ahead.

Remember all those new customers you had the last two years... How will you know if they really love you? Let's think about your customers in several different ways...

  1. Customers who ARE IN your POS/Contact Systems/or Social Followers
  2. Customers that ARE NOT in your Systems

Obviously, the customers in the first group are easy to communicate with but it mainly is a one-way communication. One challenge is to establish a regular schedule and standards for format, quality of content, etc. This is where you are trying to bring all customers to be positioned to have the ultimate relationship-building potential. The second challenge with this group (and probably more important) is building a two-way communication.

The second group is much more difficult to focus on. Customers walk through the door, make purchases, and leave without you knowing how to contact them. It happens, new staff, busy times, people in a hurry, or even people who say they don't want more emails.

So, what can help you with the original question: How will you know... what they think of you? The answer can come through several possible avenues. One can be through customer comments/surveys. But here's another one.

Be Pro-Active for the Ultimate Customer EXPERIENCE.

You may remember in the November 8th edition here in GROUPtalk, I introduced you to Duncan Wardle who will be featured at the TPIE 2022 General Session as a keynote speaker. As Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney, Duncan Wardle and his team helped Imagineering, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney Parks to innovate, creating magical new storylines and experiences. Duncan is a multiple TED talks speaker and contributor to Fast Company, Forbes & the Harvard Business Review. He teaches innovation master classes at Yale, Harvard, and Edinburgh University.

One video you can easily find of Duncan is titled, 'Creating Relationship Magic'. In this video, he says "Marketing will be replaced with EXPERIENCE in this decade." He says Marketing implies "messaging AT the customer" while EXPERIENCE implies "developing a relationship WITH the customer." See it HERE.

I can see it now... your Marketing Team becomes your "EXPERIENCE" Team.

An Important Tool for 2022

I believe a very important tool for your 2022 year and a major step in creating the EXPERIENCE approach for your customers is to implement a staff training program that is supported by The Group's Mystery Shopper Program. The Group's 2022 Mystery Shopper Program can be a basis for both training and follow-up to gauge how successful you are in creating the very best in customer EXPERIENCE. All Group Centers also received Mystery Shopper Program forms and details in the Spring Retainer Mailing earlier this month. Or you can download both sample reports in The Group's WebSystem as well as a blank report to use as training aids ahead of the season along with the Mystery Shopper Order Form itself. Just go to the Clients-Only menu and then scroll down to Group Mystery Shopper Program. If you want more information or to discuss ideas, please give me a call, text, or email me: HERE

At the end of this season, I hope You WILL know your customers really love you... and you will be on your way to creating your Center's EXPERIENCE for your loyal audience!

Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Steve Bailey, Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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