Archive | September, 2013

An Empowered Employee….A Tuxedo…..And Customer Loyalty

24 Sep

Marketing Strategy - tux

Back in April (5 months ago) I got fitted for a tuxedo at Men’s Warehouse.  It’s not my favorite thing to do, but one of my best friends asked me to be in his wedding.  After the initial fitting, the associate gave me a coupon for 50% off the entire store.  The associate explained that it didn’t need to be used today; in fact, the coupon was good for almost 4 months.  

When I went for my final fitting at Men’s Warehouse (5 months later), I also needed to purchase a pair of khaki pants for the rehearsal dinner.  I brought my 50% coupon along with me – I’d much rather pay $35.00 than $70.00.

I noticed the expiration date had past, but I wanted to see whether the associate would still give me the discount.  Doesn’t hurt to ask, right? After the associate scanned my coupon, the register monitor read, “EXPIRED.”  The moment of truth…

The associate didn’t say a word.  I didn’t either.  Actually, he didn’t even look up to see my reaction.  He simply punched in a code to override the expiration date. I got my khakis for 50% off.  Men’s Warehouse got a loyal customer.  I will definitely be back when I need to update my wardrobe.

Are your employees empowered to make decisions that enhance the customer experience?

Good luck!

PS – Yes, I will keep a coupon for four months if it’s worth it – (50% off is worth it)! 

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Marketing and Sales System Fails….Results in No Sushi for Engagement Party

18 Sep

marketing strategy breakdown

My mom was in a hurry. She always works better under pressure—don’t we all? She was hosting an engagement party for 60 people; the party was 4 days away.  Today was the day to take care of food for the guests; she decided 150 pieces of sushi would make perfect appetizers – easy to eat and delicious.

Upon entering Harris Teeter grocery store, she made a beeline to the sushi counter, brushing shoulders with anyone in her way – she was on a mission to place an order for 150 pieces of sushi.  She knew the platter likely wouldn’t be ready that day, but thought 4 days’ notice was surely enough time to prepare the sushi.  Unfortunately, her customer experience at Harris Teeter resulted in a lost sale for the grocery store and an unhappy customer. 

When she arrived at the sushi counter, she was greeted by a Harris Teeter team member.  When she asked where to place an order for a sushi platter, the Harris Teeter team member responded that the sushi team members were not available at this time.  The team member said, “You might want to come back in like an hour or two.”   And my mom’s reaction was, “Did they really just tell me to comeback in an hour? Oh. No. They. Didn’t! That one response cost Harris Teeter around $120.00.  Maybe a drop in the bucket to the big grocery store chain, but I’m sure it’s frustrating for management.

Think about how much money it spends on marketing materials and sales associates to sell its products.

Is the team member at fault or is it managements fault for not properly training the team member?  Any team member that wanders close to the catering section should know what to do when the main contact is not available.  The team member should have a short contact form for the customer to complete, and maybe give the customer a $5.00 or $10.00 off coupon (better yet – have the authority to give a small discount) to redeem when placing the order.

Do you have procedures for capturing your incoming leads? Design a customer experience for each customer touchpoint, and be sure to include a contingency plan and cross-train team members so you don’t lose sales. 

Good Luck!

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