How many times have you driven by a farm market and seen the sign,” closed for the season”? Of course their closed, everything is nailed tight. The place is barren, the plants are gone, why rub it in?
We can’t tell it’s closed?
The sign just seems silly, uninviting and a turn off. Here’s why.
If every farm market has the same “we’re closed for the season sign” which one will you shop in the spring? Most likely the one that opens first. Wouldn’t it be great if the market followed you through the winter with inspirational notes and offers! When Spring shows up you know where to go. You’re going to see your new friends, the ones that kept in touch through the winter. The ones who sent you an invitation for a cup of coffee/tea and a special hello.
Why stop being in touch with your customers? Maybe Christmas is not your season, don’t stop your offers. On line is cheap.
There’s never a time when you should stop engaging the customer.
This is a missed marketing opportunity. An opportunity to stay close to your customer and get them “longing” for your opening and your products. Don’t you love the outdoor markets and beautiful new flowers and herbs? When I look at the sign I think, how do they get to be closed for the winter and I don’t? Does your great customer service stop when you’re not open?
Customer service is an attitude, not a department. It’s something that should happen all the time; why close it for the winter? Customer retention is about keeping in touch with the right customers. How will you know who’s right? Send out your messages and see who replies; those are the ones who want to be “the right” customers.
My friend Dan Alcorn, Appreciation Marketing, tells me that a business loses 10% of their customers yearly. My questions are, do we know who they are and where they went? This information can tell you alot about your business and your customers. If you decide to go this route, calling these customers, be prepared for the information. The information may not be pretty but it’s reality. By the way if you’re looking for some simple tips from my book, Red Hot Customer Service, tune into my interview with Dan Alcorn and his new show,”Boosting Profits through Customer Retention” hosted by @DGANewYork on #BlogTalkRadio http://tobtr.com/s/1473950. On page 127 of my book, I talk about developing a customer profile.
Consider this: engaging the customer with the intent of staying “top of mind” instead of “out of sight out of mind!” Why not use any opportunity you have to engage the customer even when you’re closed?
If you’re “closed for the season” check this out. Some of the garden centers have a count down to Christmas, newsletters and gardening tips all year. Of course this would be a good time to sell holiday wreaths and trees.
Okay, here are some marketing thoughts. Instead of “closed for the season” how about, “wait until you see what color we’re going to paint.”
250 days until the petunias start blooming. Now the customer thinking, spring is on the way, I can’t wait.
Wait until you see the new colors of day lillies. Is the customer thinking, I better stop here for my new day lillies?
We’re going to have red basil for the first time. In fact, we have at least 6 different kinds of basil this year.Just a note, red basil is the best.
Don’t forget to pick up an apple pie for Memorial Day.
Register here for some beach towels. The first 20 business cards get free passes to Grafton Lake. (We can add these to our data base.)
The first letter of every sentence will spell a very important word for the summer. First right answer gets a free cherry pie. Answer on Facebook.
Follow us all year on Facebook and Twitter for gardening tips, imported bulbs and bird feeders.
Take photos of our signs and post them on your Facebook page. A winner every week.
The first person who brings in a photo on July 4th of an Elvis sighting gets a free bag of ice. If Elvis shows you might make the national news.
I think I’ll run over tomorrow and put up a new sign, 61 days until Spring!