Customers! Who Needs Them Anyway?
Are you turning your back on customers?
I don’t know about you, but I continue to be astonished at the number of businesses that don’t seem to want my custom, despite these hard times.
Of course, they don’t come right out and say so. There aren’t any signs warning ‘No dogs or customers’ or ‘Shoppers need not apply’. No, it’s much more subtle than that.
If you were thick-skinned you mightn’t even notice it. Or in a hurry or otherwise preoccupied.
But even then, it will eventually sink in: ‘I’m not welcome here. They don’t want my kind around, making unreasonable demands on their time and attention.’
Money’s no object in these places. Or so it appears. The shop assistants or waiting staff remain unimpressed by your ability to pay. All they see is trouble armed with a wallet or purse.
And who needs trouble anyway? Move along please, nothing to see here.
Sir, madam, have yiz no homes to go to?
You’ll hear it said that this is a buyer’s market. Sometimes, it appears that somebody forgot to tell the sellers.
And, of course, when times are tough, we buyers need to be encouraged too rather than cold-shouldered.
Of course, there are exceptions: The coffee-chain that bundles your drink and sandwich to offer a high-value treat.
The car-valet that comes to your home or place of work and the hotel where they offer you a courtesy drink whilst you wait for your taxi.
But these are few and far between.
In the past few weeks alone, I’ve been ignored forever by a shop-assistant planning his night out, been driven to abandon my online shopping cart because I was unable to add another item (apparently I missed the small-print which explained that the particular choice was only available as part of another package) and been served a black coffee with a topping of froth masquerading as a costly cappuccino in a high-class hotel. Costly despite being spat out by a machine that clearly wasn’t up to the task, as the mortified Italian waiter who served me confided in a furtive whisper.
I don’t want to come over all Lord Bountiful, but don’t these places want my custom? Aren’t they hurting like the rest of us in this downturn?
I’m not difficult to please. Sometimes, I just want a little help in spending my hard-earned money.
None of these businesses has asked me for my advice on branding but, if they did, I’d remind them that first things must come first: There’s no point attracting customers if you don’t intend to look after them.
It seems obvious I know, but I’ll say it again: I continue to be astonished by the number of businesses that don’t seem to want my custom.
What are you doing to make it clear to customers like me that you’re open for business and ready to help us spend their money?