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Your Customers are Struggling, Too.

What are you doing to help them?

by Donald Cooper, CSP

     As we look for ways to cut back and save money in our businesses, it’s easy to forget that many of our customers are struggling too. What are you doing to help them to save money, to buy smarter or to consume more wisely? What are you doing to be helpful, to keep them as customers and to build long-term loyalty?

    I’m not talking about just slashing your prices and destroying your bottom line here. I’m talking about proactively helping customers to make wiser choices and better decisions.

    A few years ago, Bounty paper towels introduced a smaller sheet size simply by adding more perforations to each roll. This allowed us to use less paper for small clean-ups and to get more value from each roll—and to be a little bit kinder to the environment in the process. I love them for that, and it actually increased their sales.

    One of my family’s favorite fine-dining restaurants has wisely and kindly added daily gourmet pasta specials at affordable prices. We love them for that.

    An accounting firm that specializes in serving small and medium-sized businesses has proactively sent out “50 Tips on How to Reduce Costs and Save Your Bottom Line” to all of its clients.

    I just read about a detailed study of different driving habits that shows conclusively that aggressive driving, consisting of “jack-rabbit” starts and hard-braking stops, reduces travel time by just 4 percent but increases fuel consumption by 37 percent.

    If I was in the auto repair business, I’d be using that info to help customers to save money and stay safe. I’d also emphasize the importance of proper tire inflation in reducing fuel consumption and vehicle handling. Then, I’d invite customers to drop by any time to have their tire pressure checked, “on the house.”

    More than ever, we need to be heroes to our customers. We need to be extraordinary. What would helping your customers through tough times look like in your flower business, and what would that do for your brand, your sales and your bottom line?

    Get all your staff members together, and put your heads together to brainstorm about things your business can do to help consumers through these tough times. Ask yourselves “What are we doing already?” and “What will we commit to do?”

Donald Cooper, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is an internationally known business coach and speaker who works with businesses on marketing, service and business excellence. He has helped thousands of companies throughout the world redefine and reinvent their businesses. For information on how Mr. Cooper can help your business create, deliver and communicate value, visit www.donaldcooper.com, e-mail info@donaldcooper.com or call (416) 252-3704.


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