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Sunday, September 21, 2014

It's About the Customer

     Business plans are so 2010. Today customer plans are all the rage. In an era of smart phones as a cultural device they are creating smarter consumers. How are you reaching these smart customers in order to build your business? What are smart marketers doing now? Todays inspiration comes from
     Don’t focus on the competition, focus on the customer. Focusing on the competition results in small incremental shifts. Focusing on the customer, changing that dynamic can have exponential results. In today’s digital age with billions of pieces of information available to everyone the customer is much savvier. They can look up information in a few keystrokes or phone swipes. The customer has taken over the power.  Customers are paying way more attention to what other customers are saying over what companies are saying.
     By focusing on customers and asking yourself, How do I solve a really big problem of theirs?  In our business problems can be things like appointment availability, nail challenges or value challenges.
     How can you manage your work schedule to accommodate what your client needs are? If you don’t want to work a 12 hour day why not look at opening early for the before work crowd, working till noon, for the lunch timers and then going back after 5 for the clients needing evening appointments. This leaves you with a few hours midday for banking, bookkeeping, supply shopping, visiting with a mentor, helping at your child’s school. Whatever it is you may need to attend to can be done in this window of appointment free books. I usually like to take Mondays and Wednesdays off but believe me when I tell you if a client needs in, I make it happen. If I’m not willing to solve this problem I don’t earn their business. Do clients try and take advantage, sometimes, but because I respect their time, they respect mine. You don’t build a huge clientele by not being a little flexible.  

         With nail challenges, are they trying to improve their natural nails? Do you offer a comprehensive strategy to provide this service? Have you partnered with a natural nail company? Have you kept up with new treatments like IBX or natural nail boost gels? If you can grow their natural nails and keep them healthy you will have a client for life. Is value a challenge? Are clients finding it hard to swallow your pricing? If you are not setting yourself apart from the crown providing a valuable client experience they will continue to price shop. What challenges are you trying to solve here?  Will their nails hold up with superior wear over time? Many clients don’t see the value in paying more if their service doesn’t hold up. Take classes, watch videos, perfect your technique until they can go three weeks without any issues. Do what it takes from researching newer products to perfecting the system you already have in place. If your work doesn’t hold up your books won’t fill up. 
     Never underestimate the power of client referral. So many of my new clients are gained directly from a current satisfied client. Find out what customers really care about to make a difference. Social media is an incredibly powerful tool. Why? It is mostly customers connecting with other customers. Look at Harley Davidson. They don’t have customers, they are a tribe.  Do you have a tribe?
 There is nothing better in marketing than a referral from a happy customer, one willing to write a review on your Yelp page, give you a shout out on your Facebook page or post their happiness on Instagram.  Deliver a stellar customer experience, be able to deliver is on a regular basis at a reasonable price and this will be your game changer.  John Sculley, former CEO of Apple and Pepsi says “If you aren’t doing something great for the customer, then you’re working on the wrong problem.” If you can link it back to solving their challenges, then you’re in position for growth. Look deep into your business, focus on the client, not the competition because that’s smart marketing.
To read more about John Sculley's marketing musts ClickHere

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