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Bake Shop’s Customer Experience Leads to Repeat Customers and Tons of Referrals

7 May
The wildly successful Crisp Bakery in Sonoma County

The wildly successful Crisp Bake Shop in Sonoma County

  • Owners completely understand the importance of the customer experience – from design to execution
  • Combination of world class baked goods and well-designed customer experience = big competitive advantage
  • Details: “I envisioned the customer parking, walking in the door, ordering, eating, and getting up to leave.”

As I entered Crisp Bake Shop, my senses were so happy they joined together to start a conga line.

customer experience conga line

Eyes – the interior of the store was extremely clean, with modern art on the walls, fresh pastries in the display case, and a large window where customers could watch the chefs prepare everything from croissants to wedding cakes.

Ears – hip music played at just the right volume – Bob Marley and Jack Johnson were a few of the artists I remember.  The sound of the coffee machine and the friendly, smiling staff members that greeted each guest.

Smell – a combination of freshly brewed coffee and Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins; Strawberry Toaster Pastries; Dried Fig and Walnut Scones

Taste – if you have the opportunity to visit Crisp Bake Shop, you will not be disappointed.  My bacon, egg, and cheese hand pie was perfect, and the portion was just right – obviously management understands a little goes a long way with baked goods.

I was sold before I stepped to the counter to order.  

The Owner and Staff Members Educate and Interact with Customers

“Did you know our iced coffee has double the caffeine of our regular coffee? The iced coffee process does not strip away any caffeine from the beans.  The iced coffee will give you quite a jolt if you’re not used to it.”

Despite the long line behind the customer, the owner took the time to educate and interact with the customer.  He treated the customer as if she was the only person in his shop. The staff did the same, making several recommendations and greeting people by first name. It’s funny: the customers in line had smiles on their faces. It was almost has if they enjoyed standing in line, patiently waiting for their turn at the counter.

Ownership Understands Its Target Market

“Okay, it’s Friday. That means we will get a rush of people from 9:30 to 10:45.  Everyone wants a cup of coffee and a quick bit to eat before heading to the farmers market that’s down the road.  We will get a much needed break from 10:45 to 11:45 to restock and catch our breath for the lunch rush.”

During the morning rush, the chefs brought out freshly baked goods like clockwork.  The customers waiting in line were able to see the goods as they were placed in the display case.  The chef even interacted with the customers and made recommendations.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Customer Experience?

If you want to turn regular customers into raving, repeat, shout-from-the-mountaintops, walking referral customers, then focus on creating a memorable experience.  While price and product/service is a factor in the buying process, customers ultimately buy from the people and places that make them FEEL a certain way.

  • Identify your target market – create buyer personas
  • Map the entire customer experience, including all the touchpoints a customer has with your company. (i.e. what happens when a customer drives past my place of business? Is it clean? Are the lights working on the sign? What happens when a lead or customer lands on my website? Is it updated? Is it easy to navigate? What happens when a lead or customer calls my business?
  • Design a memorable experience at each of the touchpoints.

    Anticipate, create, delight. 

I overheard the owner explain that he’s already sold out of his custom wedding cakes….FOR THE YEAR! It’s nice to have customers knocking down your door. Crisp’s dedication to customer experience is paying huge dividends.  What will you do to improve your customer experience?

Good luck!

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How Airbnb Created an Amazing Customer Acquisition Marketing Campaign

4 Feb

customer acquisition

This is an excellent new customer acquisition campaign from Airbnb.  Let’s take a look a few of the reasons this is such a great campaign:

A Clear Goal:

The goal of this campaign is obvious: entice new customers to try http://www.airbnb.com, to generate additional revenue for the company. One way to increase revenue is by adding new customers to your existing client database. It’s simple: new customers = additional revenue.  A secondary goal is to convert the new customers (promo/trial customers) to loyal customers  after the promotion ends.

 Defined Target Market

– Consumers who have never used Airbnb

– Consumers who use social media

Because the deal was announced via social media, it’s clear that the company is targeting consumers who frequent social media sites. I’m sure Airbnb has data that shows most customers discover the company via online search. social media, and word-of-mouth. It knows exactly where its target market is hanging out.

Also, because it’s such a great deal, Airbnb benefits from free advertising when people share the deal with family and friends – there is a viral element to the ad because it’s such a great offer. This reduces marketing expenses and increases the ROI for Airbnb.

Clear, Simple Offer

Does the offer make me stop what I’m doing to learn more? Is the offer worth my time?  Definitely.  If you’re going to make an offer, make sure it not only makes sense financially but also gets people excited and gets people talking. I suspect Airbnb allocated part of its marketing budget to pay for the free offers that would be redeemed. It avoided the high costs of advertising the deal via traditional channels (print & TV), and instead relied on its current customers to spread the deal via social media.  

Deadline to Redeem the Offer

You needed to book your trip between January 13th and 17th, travel by March 31st, AND book for at least two nights (first night is on Airbnb). I’m sure the winter months are a slow time for Airbnb. This offer was an attempt to generate revenue during the slow months, while also hoping that some of the new clients will stick around and try Airbnb next time they travel.

Is There a Way to Track Whether the Ad is Successful?

Yes. You must enter promo code: ONENIGHT to redeem the offer. This promo code allows Airbnb to easily track how many people redeemed the offer. Airbnb can also determine  how much revenue was created by not only this offer but also any future business from the customers acquired during this campaign. Armed with this data, Airbnb can adjust future marketing campaigns to maximize return-on-investment (ROI).

How Can You Apply Some of the Lessons from This Airbnb Marketing Campaign?

Before you create advertisements and marketing campaigns, you should always determine the goal of the marketing campaign. Is it to create brand awareness? Is it to acquire new customers? Is it to reward existing customers?

Also, take time to crystallize your target market. So many marketing campaigns fail because companies fail to clearly define the  target market. Who are the people we are targeting with this marketing campaign? Does our ad/message resonate with the target market? Are we marketing our product/service where the target market hangs out?

Is there a clear call-to-action? What do you want the target market to do after they view your advertisement? 

Is the offer irresistible? Is there a deadline to redeem the offer?

What happens AFTER they take advantage of your promotional offer? How do you follow up to ensure the new customer(s) become lifelong customers?

A successful customer acquisition campaign includes: a goal, a defined target market, an irresistible offer, a clear call-to-action, and systems to convert new customers to lifelong customers.

Good luck!

Are You Making the Same Marketing and Sales Mistakes as My Local Gym?

31 Jan

Article highlights (continue reading for the full story):

  • The gym had a solid lead generation campaign – utilized both digital and traditional marketing channels
  • Secured my personal information – full name, email, and physical address
  • Instructed me to visit its out-of-date website (first breakdown)
  • Did not anticipate my buying cycle (I researched the company before I ever made contact)
  • Never followed up with me after I decided to redeem its offer of a 1-day free trial
  • Always anticipate/research what your prospect will do when it becomes aware of your product/service

gym marketing campaigns

I’ve been eating way too many burritos in the Mission District lately.  My friends joke that the first place they look for me is the taqueria down the street from my apartment.

As I munched on a burrito while watching college basketball, I saw a commercial for a free 1-day trial at my neighborhood gym. While many people believe using television as a marketing channel is outdated, it’s worth noting that Google reports that 60% of its search queries are the result of someone seeing an offline (print/television advertisement).  The television ad (call-to-action) instructed me to visit the gym’s website to redeem my free 1-day trial.

So what did I do after watching the commercial?

I ‘Googled’ the gym to find out more about not only the free offer but also learn about the gym – from pricing to reviews to staff.

Keep in mind: the company INSTRUCTED me to visit the website.  The website was outdated.  The blog was last updated about 6 months ago and it lacked dynamic content that would have allowed me to learn more about the gym.  If you’re going to instruct people to visit your website, you should at least keep it updated.  The company did a great job of directing me to the site; however, the website content should have been targeted to new prospects researching the gym. Anticipate what prospects will do when they land on your page.

gym-marketing-campaigns

After I surfed the company website, I bounced over to Yelp to read the reviews.  I was satisfied with the reviews, so I decided to redeem my 1-day free pass.

The online sign up was simple: I entered my first name, last name, and email address.  When I hit submit, the instructions told me to visit the gym to redeem my free pass.  I walked the two blocks to the gym to redeem my free pass.  I was greeted at the door and asked to complete a liability waiver.  Sure, I’m happy to sign my life away if I drop a dumbbell on my head.  As I was working out on the elliptical machine (is that manly?), feeling the burrito grease leave my skins pores, I thought: “The gym spent a lot of effort and money to entice me to try its services.  It even secured my name, email address, and physical address (from the liability form). It’s not easy to secure my contact information. I bet they have a really good sales system to ensure I don’t walk out of here without a fight.” What happened when I finished my workout? I walked out without any fanfare. No sales pitch. Nobody asked me for feedback. Nobody made an offer.

The owner/marketing team should have anticipated and planned a sales process for prospects that redeem the free trial offer.  Instead, they let me walk out of the door without signing up for a monthly plan.  Why not create an incentive to sign up that day.  For example: “If you sign up within 24 hours of redeeming your 1-day trial, you get the first month free and a 1-hour massage.”

But they let me walk away.  Not only did they let me walk away, but also they still haven’t contacted me about my experience and/or whether I want to join the gym.  The company spent lots of money (advertising, marketing plan, store front, salaries) for my trial.  It’s a shame that its follow up strategy is ‘hoping’ I’ll decide to sign up for a membership.  It should have systems in-place to ensure I sign up before I leave and follow up sales systems for 30, 60, 90, 120 days.

  • No incentive to sign up that day.  They could have closed the sale by offering me a one month free deal if I signed up that before the end of the day
  • The company could  follow up with an email/snail mail campaign:
    • Did you enjoy your time at the gym?
    • Thank you for the trial – did we mess up?
    • Last chance to save 30% on a yearly package?
    • Free Massage?

If you’re going to spend lots of money on an integrated digital and traditional marketing campaign, it’s wise to anticipate what the prospect is going to do along the buying decision.  The company paid a lot of money to get me to try the service, why haven’t they followed up with me?

What can you do to increase your chances of  converting your prospects to clients?

Good luck!

100 Bottles of Beer on the…..Does Your Marketing Strategy Include Shareable Experiences?

12 Aug

You’ve seen it. You’ve probably done it.  I’m guilty.  You are at an amazing restaurant, or maybe you’re on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.  You stop to take a photo either in front of a famous landmark or in front of something your friends and/or Facebook stalkers will think is cool.

You upload it to Facebook and check-in at the location.  You get lots of ‘likes’ and a few witty comments from your friends.  The business gets lots of free marketing exposure.

Do you have a shareable experience? If creating shareable experiences isn’t part of your marketing strategy, it’s time to QUICKLY rethink your strategy.  You don’t have to own a famous landmark; you can create something unique that people will want to share with others.  Here’s an example from a local brewery that opened a few weeks ago:

100 bottles of beer on the wall! Are shareable experiences part of your marketing strategy?

Are shareable experiences part of your marketing strategy?

I counted three different people taking their photos in front of the 100 bottles of beer on the wall.  We both know those photos were uploaded along with a check-in at the new, local hot spot.  How many people do you think saw that check-in and photo, and thought, “Cool! Let’s go check out the new restaurant in town?”

What’s your shareable experience?

Good luck!

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