There’s a line snaking out the door, one of your employees called in sick at the last minute, and there’s an angry customer asking to speak with the person in charge (that’s you). If you’re a small business owner, you’ve probably had days when it seems like nothing is going right. On days like this (and often others) marketing opportunities are such a low priority that they’re not even on your list. That’s completely understandable — as a small business, we recognize the challenges associated with making your own marketing plan come to fruition.
However, even on the tough days it’s important to recognize when you’ve missed an important marketing opportunity, and how to best capitalize on that opportunity if it should arise again. Let’s go back to the scenario we’ve painted of a hectic day at your business. Many may see nothing but a mess. How could a marketing opportunity be hidden within this situation?
- Long wait times. Sometimes long wait times are unavoidable, and sometimes you’ll get a customer or two who will walk into your business, see a line, and walk straight back out. Can they really be blamed? Long wait times can be a pain, so what can you do to improve them, and keep those customers from walking in, then walking back out? To capitalize on this marketing opportunity, give the customers something to do while they wait in line. This may be something as simple as having a television nearby with slides promoting your services, a row of magazines to peruse, or offering customers who wait in line a free small hot chocolate. Get creative with ways to keep customers engaged. If you operate a business that sells games, have a few to play while customers wait. Tailor your offerings to your business, and remember that the customers who walk away from that line are a missed transaction.
- Employee retention and treatment. That employee who called in sick may have caused an inconvenience, but that employee is an important marketing opportunity. Making employees feel valued, giving them the time they need to recover from sickness or loss, and rewarding them when they’ve done their job well may seem like a no brainer; but it’s important to remember that people talk, and treating those employees well can only help your business. If you’re a fair employer, your employees will tell others, which will attract new talent, and show customers that you’re a reputable business where they will feel comfortable spending their money.
- Fielding customer complaints. The worst thing you can do for your business when a customer complains is to ignore them. Take their complaint seriously, be sincere, and figure out what you can do to fix the situation. Sometimes losing a customer may be the only possibility, but more often than not, if you treat that customer with respect and use their feedback to improve, both parties will benefit, and the previously angry customer may let others know how well you handled the situation.
Have you been missing these marketing opportunities? They may seem simple, but they make a huge difference when it comes to your business’ reputation. If you need help capitalizing on missed marketing opportunities, contact us. Your first 30-minute consultation is free!