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Posts Tagged ‘Customer’

3 Ways to Engage Your Customers

December 27, 2011 1 comment

By Heidi Adams

CONTESTS:English: Peanut butter cookie with a chocolate...

Run a contest in-store or on Facebook or BOTH to promote a new item you’re going to carry.  Perhaps give consumers the chance to name it.  Name this new cookie flavor and win, a month’s supply.

If you’re not in the cookie business you could have them guess the amount of something or come up with the next promotion themselves.  It’s a great way to get feedback.   The prizes don’t have to be expensive, remember you’re catering to people who already like you.  Something like a gift card or even merchandise you were going to put on sale anyway works fine in this instance.

GIVEAWAYS:

If you’re like a lot of small businesses, you are trying to grow your online following.

Post from the Madison College Libraries page.

A fun thing to do on a Facebook Fan page is a give-away.  The giveaway would be randomly drawn from your list of fans once you reach a certain number.  For example, the Madison College Library wanted to reach at least 600 likes and they chose to give away a nook color once they reached that number.

Another tactic is to do smaller prizes but more of them – an example would be “help us gain 20 fans by the end of the week and we’ll give away a $15 gift card.”

If you’re a business that works with vendors frequently, you might be able to ask for some free product to help promote.  It’s always a great way for them to advertise, too.  “We got a set of widgets from our widget vendor, comment on this post and be entered to win them.”

THANK-YOU’s:

So you thanked the customer after they paid for their merchandise.  What about when they got home, or even the next month to see if they are still happy with their purchase? You might think it’s excessive, but if done the right way it will build your relationships.

Here is an example,  you up-sold the customer at your salon on a new shampoo that would work for them.  What about emailing them or better yet- Facebook messaging them to get their opinion?  You could word it like, “Thanks again for coming in last week!  What do you think about that new brand, is it working for you? Let me know what you think”

If you have the customer snail mail address, write them a letter, “Thanks for doing business with us. We hope that welder is getting some good use, let us know how it’s going and send us a pic of your work!”

In this rough economy a little goes a long way.  Be sincere and say thanks!

If you have ideas or thoughts on customer engagement comment below or write us an email: itrendmadison@gmail.com

Jump start small businesses with Groupon

December 21, 2011 Leave a comment

By: Steve Krause
If you’re a discount shopper you’ve probably heard about the online discount web site known as Groupon.  Well after hearing about this from a few friends of mine I decided to see what all of the hype was about.  After doing a little research online on buzzraid.com, I learned that Groupon is a group buying website where discounts on products are offered in certain cities or regions where it could be 75% to 50% off of random products like hygiene supplies, services like spa therapy, or a certain meal at a restaurant.

Check out buzzraid for more details on the logistics!

However, the only way customers can take advantage of these “hot deals” on Groupon is if a certain number of people buy the discount which makes it a win-win for the customer who gets the discount and for the store owner’s who get enough business to make the discount worth their while.

This buying website is a great tool for business owners to not only get people into their doors, but it’s also a way to attract new customers to your place of business as well.  With Groupon members constantly getting email alerts about discounts in your store they have to make the effort to forward the Groupon deal to their friends, family, co-workers, basically anyone they can to try and get enough members to take advantage of the discount and make the online voucher valid.

Sure, you’re probably going to have to offer somewhat of an outrageous one-time discount like 50% to 75% off on a product or service you offer, but if enough people buy the discount on Groupon to make the offer valid, odds are you’re going to get all of those customers who bought the discount into your place of business to use the voucher.  Once you get the people into your place of business to use the online voucher they might be inclined to buy other products or services you offer or even become new loyal repeat customers.  Makes sense doesn’t it?

I feel that this could be a successful tool for smaller businesses to attract new customers and help their businesses grow. With the way consumers are pinching pennies these days, what better way to get them into your place of business than to offer them a great discount.  The hardest part about starting up a business or even maintaining a business is getting people into the door.  That is the beauty of using Groupon for your business is it gets people into the doors.  After that it’s up to you to build a relationship with them and retain them as a long-term loyal customer.

I recently read a small business Groupon success story in an online article in Inc. Magazine written by Jason Del Rey entitled, “How to Use Groupon to Boost Sales”.  The article states how a small brewery owner Matt Lincecum woke up one Wednesday morning and his office phone was ringing off the hook, for hours.  The article went on to say how the calls were so overwhelming that he had to direct them to the company voicemail with the greeting, “We love you very much, but we are overwhelmed at the moment.  Please check our web site on Monday to make reservations there.”

The article also went on to explain how Lincecum’s brewery, Fremont Brewery, partnered with Groupon to offer a tour of the brewery, a pint of beer, and a pint glass for only $7, a discount of over 50%, but led to such a demand for brewery tours that Lincecum had to hire another person to help give and schedule the tours.

That’s a classic example of the power of Groupon and how it can help jump start a small business and provide an abundance of business overnight.  Groupon targets and attracts deal hunters and penny pinchers, but if you get them into your store and have them leaving happy and satisfied not only will you possibly have a new loyal customer, but you also have some dam good word-of-mouth advertising as well for they will be telling their friends and families about this new small business they love that they found on Groupon.