Updated: Feb 15
Our topic today is making sure customers know where to go to buy from you.
That may sound crazy but I can bet you now you are losing people before they get to your sales finish line.
I wanted to tell you a story that happened to me in a shop recently.
I was in a coffee shop where I am a regular. I walked to the busy counter and automatically slid into place on the left hand side of the till.
A few other customers stood to the right, a sign that they'd been processed and were waiting for their drinks to come out. One lady stood in the middle. To me she was obvious and I realised she was next in line and put my head down to read my phone.
The barista, busy but efficient spoke to me, and I looked at the other lady who startled and said to the barista 'Couldn't you see me? I've been here all along'
There was a moment of embarrassment and she was served. Then I was. The issue all along was that she was standing in the wrong place. But she didn't know that. As a customer she had every right to expect service but she crossed into a strange area of human psychology which dictates that we all do what we are supposed to do. No complaints no deviations.
As small business owners we have to think like the broken customer. We have to step back from our own understanding of our products and services and look for the places we lose people to the the coffee queue blind spot or the wrong side of the escalator.
It is always a good idea to spend time looking at your processes and finding the blind spots.
Look for where the customer may drop out of the purchase process.
Find those missing people standing waiting for you patiently but bemused at why you aren't serving them, and bring them back!
Some quick suggestions to check your systems work
1. Create a regular customer feedback mechanism
Ask every customer for a review. Read them. Look for improvements you can make
2. Ask people to test things for you
Recruit 5 friends and ask them to try and break your process. If you just sell one product and you list it on Etsy can people find it? do they know how to place their order?
3. Hire a Mystery Shopper
If you have a retail environment, consider employing a mystery shopper to come in and review your space, find the places you lose people.
4. Check your mobile user experience is as good as your web based
If you have a website that is rubbish for mobile you may be losing loads of customers
5. Check your customer service
Look back at recent enquiries that didn't convert. You could ask them why or just analyse your messages.
I hope that is useful for getting you thinking about the money you may be leaving on the table by not serving these people!
This article was originally published in my weekly newsletter. If you would like to sign up please
Thanks for reading
Would you like more help with your marketing? My new book is out now
If you would like a book of 100 Marketing Tips written just for small business owners then do have a look here. I wrote this book to be easy to read cover to cover or to be kept as a reference to dip in and out of!
Shona Chambers Marketing is a Marketing Agency based in SE London.
Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing.