Springtime – If you’re anything like me, it feels like there hasn’t been a spring in about 2 years. Yes, the seasons have continued naturally, but my life as I knew it has seemed to have been on hold for a while. Like I’ve been holding my breath for 2 years. With Covid hanging over our heads, it feels to me like time and the last 8 seasons have blurred together into some alternate sphere in some other dimension. I can’t say that I’m sure what is normal anymore and seem to have lost my normal business sense. Fortunately, the Royalty Rewards® Coaches have kept me in touch these past 2 years with the heartbeat of my business during these strange times.
With spring approaching and the 2-year grasp that Covid has had on us easing, I’ve been looking for ways to “spring-clean” my mind and get me from survival and reacting back to Business Owner, innovator, and forward thinker. Why is this important? RIGHT NOW, is the time for Independent Business Owners to solidify their businesses as well as grab more market share.
Here are some of the “spring-cleaning” questions and strategies that I am re-learning to help the 2-year Covid mindset evaporate.
Who are my best customers?
A quick review of this is critical. Why? It’s likely over the past 2 years they have changed. If there is a change, why? What happened to those who USED to be your best? Your best customers are easily found in Royalty Rewards® Top Household report. Do I treat these customers differently? YOU BET! These customers have my personal cellphone number so they can contact me at any time. Just last week one texted me about a confusing question asked during a take-out order. The result? I was able to solve his concern AND learn that a particular employee needed more training. Not only are these my best customers – I consider them to be on my team because they WANT me to be successful and are willing to give me insights like these.
What am I selling?
This may have changed in the past 2 years. A Covid-safe experience may have been critical before, but is it now? I’m not suggesting throwing out Covid safety, but merely suggesting that what your customers want to buy from you may be changing. Pre-covid, my restaurant was known for being the neighborhood place, a place to see your friends. We were always full, loud, fun-loving large parties and long waits for a table at peak times. THIS was the draw; this is what we were selling. Overnight, the exact same things screamed UNSAFE and STAY-AWAY. Lots of loud people in an enclosed space suddenly became the worst thing possible. We had to quickly pivot to sell a different experience – something viewed as completely safe, organized and controlled. THIS is what sold for the last 2 years. Now, it is slowly changing back to the pre-Covid ways. We are consistently following the local guidelines from our health officials and listening to our customers. I never sell only what I want to sell, I sell what my customers are buying.
What causes my customers to stop coming and how do I get them to return?
Truly knowing this is a game changer. It may just be that they moved away. It could also be there is a difficult employee that oversees your Customer Prevention Department – a department you never intended to have. Fortunately, Royalty Rewards® has built-in systems to answer these questions. Customer surveys AND the Lost Customer Reactivation Campaign are incredibly valuable resources to answer these questions. Be warned: the survey answers
customers provide can be pretty darn direct. I am so thankful for this system and, even though the directness can be painful, it gives me valuable insight into the customer experience and a chance for me to be better. (Be sure you are utilizing this feature – it will save your business.) What have I found? Customers stop coming in because they are frustrated with your business. A small thing often leads to major anger when their frustrations are not acknowledged or solved. Customers can be very forgiving, but we need to acknowledge them when they are feeling frustrated. If they do stop coming in, I have Royalty Rewards® set up to automatically reactivate them with the Lost Customer Reactivation Campaign. The results of this? 13% of my customers returned.
What is my genius?
What’s the one thing that I can do better than anyone else in my organization. Not the thing that I love to do, but the thing that is my unique ability. Delegate everything else. You can still support the things you delegate but find someone to do everything but your genius. Why is this important? Each one of your employees have a genius too and they WANT to use it. When you do only your genius and let go of the other things on your list, it allows for others to
use their genius and become more engaged at work. And this means less stress and a better operating business for you. Spring. The time to clean, revive, restore.
Bent Hansen is the owner of Los Gringos Locos and is a Longtime Newsletter Contributor and Royalty Rewards®Merchant since 2008.