Don’t make your customers resent you

I know resentment can make you sick. That’s why I always strive to keep my customers happy by ensuring they do not resent anything we do.

I resent when a restaurant does not have a Dyson Air Blade to dry my hands.

I resent when I rent a car in the winter and the car rental company has a basic plastic scraper and not a snow brush.

I resent when a taxi is dirty and smelly.

I resent when I fill out an on line form and it asks me the same questions (why am I filling out my address for a third time?) Maybe it’s for a different purpose, but don’t make me repeat details I have already filled in.

Are you making your customers resent you because you don’t put yourself in their shoes? Become your customer and experience your service first hand as a client.  Have your customers passionately choose you and resent your competition. Resentment makes us sick, do you want to make your customer’s sick?

Tis the season to NOT send cards

Please do not send me a Christmas or Holiday card. I know people mean well, but really it seems obvious that if you want to stand out, if you do not want to be one of 10, 20 even 50 other messages all competing for my attention, your friend’s attention, your customer’s attention…. then send cards another time of year. I get some really nice, meaningful cards, but very few. I can tell people have put thought into the hand written message and I like getting thoughtful cards….. but why send something at the noisiest time of the year?

Can I suggest sending me your card in February, send me a Valentine, send me a card July 1st. No one else sends me a card July 1st.  Your message would be even more meaningful if I read it then DID NOT open 20 others.

Companies that send out holiday cards with a pre-printed signature from everyone in the company should save their money. There is no return on your investment. But, if you do what a former customer of mine does every year, you will get huge ROI. Lorne Merkur sends Halloween cards with candy.

Oh, and the worst are those e-cards, I must have received 10 of those this year – DELETE. Not cute, I just think you are cheap and could not take the time to think differently. You went to a website, loaded up a bunch of email addresses and pressed send. Wow I feel special.

Take the time to think about a unique holiday. Mail a card to customers, friends and don’t forget your vendors. Better yet make up a holiday. Imagine the impact after 5 years of customers receiving a greeting card on your made up holiday…now that is branding that will get you ROI.


How I helped my hair stylist double her business

Over the past few months I have helped my hair stylist create a simple and easy to execute sales, service and marketing plan.

Here is what she is doing.

1. Each client has a picture taken of their final cut, colour etc. These pictures are stored on her iphone using iphoto so she has folders by client. Ahead of each appointment she emails the client the results of their last appointment asking them to think about what they want to do with their hair during the upcoming appointment. She is creating a database of customer’s hair styles. She also asks them what they want to drink so it is ready when they arrive.

2. Clients can now book a year’s worth of appointments for a 20% discount. At minimum she books in their next two appointments before they leave from the current one. Saves time, increases revenue.

3. She is using Square to accept payment on her iPhone reducing check out time.

4. She updates her Facebook page with quick videos on hair styles, tricks of the trade (ie dealing with dry winter hair, frizzy summer hair, dealing with one side burn that grows faster than the other etc.)

5. Her entire schedule is on line so clients, who have not bought into the year package can see her availability, no back and forth on the phone.

5 quick and what seemd obvious ideas to boost business. Low cost, high impact, that is what it is all about.

Inventing Desire?

Here is a picture from the front of an advertising agency’s building in Toronto. Inventing Desire? Really? This shines a light on exactly what is wrong with marketers (which I consider myself one of). Why invent desire? Seems obvious to me that what you want to do, in order to create long term customers is to uncover desire, point out existing desire or remind people of their desirers. If a marketer invents desire they are essentially tricking the consumer. The consumer is not stupid. They will realize they were tricked and rebel, causing havoc costing the brand far more than they gained from inventing a desire that was not even real in the first place.