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Are You Telling Customers What They Need to Know to Keep Them Coming Back?

Many companies market to their prospects and customers, but that doesn’t mean they are communicating effectively or in a timely manner. That’s unfortunate, because even a seemingly minor communication failure can have major repercussions. Consider this example:

Every year, several charity running events come through my neighborhood because of its proximity to a park. If roads will be closed, organizers deliver notification flyers to surrounding homes and businesses to help them avoid inconvenience. No businesses ever become inaccessible, but the most common route to reach them may be blocked.

I was at one of two neighboring grocery stores on the day of a marathon, and I had reached it via an alternate route because the road in front of it was closed. In the checkout line, I overheard two shoppers complaining to the cashier that the dog food was too expensive. I knew that the grocery store across the street was often more price-competitive, and I wondered why they didn’t go there, instead.

When I told them about it, one shopper responded, “We usually shop there, but the road is blocked. We had to come here.”

After they left, I realized that it was entirely possible to get to the other store—provided that the shopper knew to turn a few blocks earlier and cross above the main road blocked for the race. Why didn’t they know that? Management from their preferred grocery store failed to tell notify them.

The store’s marketing team could have announced the road closure and provided alternate routes in its weekly emails, and it could have created posters and displayed them in its store, or even printed notification on sales receipts. A really savvy marketer would have ensured that a big notice was also printed on the front page of the store’s weekly sales ad—which it distributes all around the neighborhood, each week.

Then, at least its core customer base would have known how to get there. These shoppers were obviously regular customers, yet they thought they were blocked from getting to their favorite store. How many other regular customers didn’t shop there that day?

If sales were slow on race day, the store manager probably blamed the charity and its event for hemming them in. In reality, the store’s lack of communication was what blocked shoppers’ way. Further evidence that little things really do make a difference.

This post courtesy of Content Manager Jennifer Farwell.

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