Tag Archives: rewards

Why Say Thanks to your Customers?

Thank-you with a smile is one of the most powerful words in the English language and in customer relationships. It is an expression of politeness between two people which creates a connection. Subconsciously it says ‘I respect and value you’. It sets the standard to begin a mutually polite conversation and keeps you in integrity. Said with 100% sincerity, it can overcome many obstacles. It’s like a bridge over a chasm of misunderstandings or a welcoming handshake inviting the person to a closer circle of friendship.

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No one to answer the phone?

No one to answer the phone… = frustrated customer, frustrated owner

Have you ever phoned a business and heard endless ringing or a busy signal every time?

In today’s world of instant everything we expect something to happen when we dial a phone number, especially when it is a business phone. At the very least, we expect a voice mail although our preference always is a person.

So why is the phone not answered, especially when it is your business? When your business is closed during after hours or special holidays, there should be an answering machine with a polite welcome message. But when your business is open… what then?

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Loyalty Programs are Hot

Loyalty programs are not just for ‘Big Business’. If you want to stay in the game, consider having a mobile-friendly loyalty program to keep your customers engaged.

Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) highlighted the latest trends for eating establishments in an August 20, 2014 article..

One of the hottest areas of innovation is loyalty programs. Consumers especially younger generations demand technology-enabled speed and convenience in everything they do, including ordering and paying for restaurant meals. Beyond that, they have a hunger to belong. They want to align themselves with brands that reflect their lifestyles and values and they want to be rewarded for doing so.”

Further along in the same article they stated…Eight out of 10 participants in restaurant rewards programs affirm that they’re more likely to frequent a restaurant where they’re recognized as a loyal patron. And regardless of whether they currently participate in any loyalty programs, nine out of 10 consumers say they’d be likely to sign up for a new program inaugurated by a restaurant that was already a favourite of theirs. Of these enthusiasts, 94% say that after joining the new rewards club, they would likely patronize that restaurant even more often going forward.”

Car 4sale Old

Just like automobiles were in the early 1900’s, loyalty programs are the ‘wave of the future’. But remember your customers want great value and convenience. NRN also stated in their article that…

“Two-thirds of consumers say they’d likely turn down the chance to join a restaurant loyalty program if there were a joining fee, and almost half would take a pass if they felt the rewards weren’t worth the hassle of signing up.”

So you have to ‘know’ your customers to decide what they would find valuable and don’t charge a fee for signing up. That’s like closing your doors and expecting customers to come in.

If you don’t own a restaurant, it doesn’t mean you don’t need a loyalty program. In fact you probably need it even more. The NRN article also stated…

“Your best customers want to feel they’re special and part of the action. Reward loyalty members with frequent coupons and special deals, exclusive chances to sample and comment on new items, and other members-only perks.”

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Every day you delay implementing a loyalty program NRN notes you are “leaving money on the table”. A loyalty program is an increasingly powerful tool to keep your present customers, attract new customers and increase customer referrals.

In this digital age, what are your thoughts about making technology work for you to attract customers?

http://nrn.com/sponsored-content/diner-loyalty-digital-age Nation’s Restaurant News’ sponsored by American Express

Plenty FULL Services is a money-saving, mobile-friendly loyalty program that can be customized to fit any type of business. Remember, customers want to be rewarded.

Attracting Success to your business…

Peter

Your Staff is Your Voice with Your Customers

It’s my experience savvy staff know politeness, helpfulness and a smile translate into cash tips in the hospitality industry. Your staff is your frontline face for your business no matter what industry. Smiling faces and voices welcome customers, put them at ease and give them the feeling they are respected. Yes, it is important to have well trained staff, but I find it is equally important for staff to feel they have the support of your business behind them.

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Anything you can do to make your staff feel part of the team is good for business. It is the little things that count. A word of gratitude for a job well done, a signed card with a bonus cheque at Christmas time, public recognition for their work…there’s lots of ways to build a team. When your business has teamwork you can guide your staff to talk with customers in the way you want. Their voices reflect your message with customers.

Of course there will always be staff that are there only for the paycheque, but others have deep personal values and always strive to do a great job. Those loyal staff members not only deserve to be rewarded but must be rewarded with satisfaction in both tangible and intangible ways. Staff can be your biggest asset or your biggest liability. If you have a system to reward your staff with things they value, some of your paycheque-only staff may change their attitude. Finding ways to make your staff into your greatest asset pays huge dividends. Remember, your staff is your voice with your customers.

It is the day-to-day actions that build or destroy a staff-management relationship.

  • Always speak with your staff like you would like to be treated.
  • Be flexible, but also clear about your expectations that come with the job. Give them a vision.
  • Voice your satisfaction immediately with individual staff when you see outstanding work, especially the ‘small’ things.
  • When you have a concern with one of your staff, begin the discussion by giving a compliment first.
  • At staff meetings start discussing what went right first. Then you can go into asking for input for improvements, setting goals for the team to focus on, asking for solutions when challenges crop up or whatever pressing topics need to be addressed.
  • Consistently be the example for your ‘Business Face’ to steep your staff in your business culture. After all, you cannot always be in front of every customer so your staff is your voice with your customers.

What is your experience with building staff loyalty?

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Visit Plenty FULL Services (PFS) for ‘Staff Management Tips’ to make your work load easier to manage.

Here’s to your success!

Peter

Keeping Customers Coming Back

Keeping Customers Coming Back

Part One

Today’s businesses are concerned with ‘customer retention’… keeping existing customers coming back instead of expending so much time, money and energy finding new ones. There are a number of challenges to keeping in touch with customers including more tasks than time in a day.

Some businesses have an invitation to complete a survey on the back of the till receipts they hand out to their customers.

This is a great innovation but the drawback is most customers either throw out the receipt or they forget about it by the time they get home. Plus more and more shoppers find there isn’t enough value for them to complete the survey.

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Some till receipts have a discount offer.

But the restrictions don’t make it convenient for the shopper. For those who live an hour away from the store, a time-limited discount is not going to attract them back. The receipt gets tossed. If the discount is valid for several weeks, the shopper still won’t come back to use the offer if there are too many restrictions. Or worse… the customer does come back to make a purchase and finds out the discount does not apply. They didn’t read the fine print close enough… one instantly annoyed customer!

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For a restaurant, having a card on the table for the customer to fill out is another response solution.

Someone has to record and analyze the comments to gain any benefit from the exercise. Again, there has to be some attractive value for the customer or they won’t take the time to fill it out. Customers want to be rewarded for spending their money.

These customer retention ideas and others have been around for a long time; long before the introduction of computers and other electronic devices. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, they need to be updated to the 21st century. Offers need to be connected to the individual shopper.

If you could easily keep your customers coming back month in and out, what would your business look like?

Until next time…

Peter

Customer Put on Hold

(then You Drop the Ball)

 Dropping a Tennis Ball on Black
Have you ever put a customer on hold on the phone saying it will take you 5 minutes to get an answer and then forgot them or it took 20 minutes? Somedays it seemed like the phone was permanently glued to my ear! I had the best intentions but there were so many things which happened in each day. It was tough to remember the customer who was on the phone earlier. Unless I wrote down a notethere was no physical reminder to trigger the thought to call them back. Sometimes even a note didn’t help.

Customers are not concerned with how busy your day is because they have pressing matters themselves. They just want to know if you can provide the service or item, when and for how much. So how do you make good when you’ve forgotten them, when you’ve dropped the ball?

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I found you usually can get the situation cleared up by…

  • phoning and starting with an apology for the delay.
  • thanking them for their patience. This tells them they are important to you.
  • giving them an offer to show how much you value them.

What if most days you could guarantee your customers being patient with you, especially when you drop the ball?

Imagine your business if all your customers truly felt loyal to you?

How do you think they would feel if you had an occasional ‘oops’, when you dropped the ball? My experience tells me most days they would overlook it. They would stay with your business because you gave them ‘special treatment’. Loyal customers stay with you through thick and thin.

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So how do you get loyal customers? First of all, you must have top-notch products and services. Then…

  • Develop a niche market. Your business must be unique is some small way so it remains memorable in your customers’ minds.
  • Listen to your customers. The’ll tell you what they like best and then give them more, or what they like least and then resolve it.
  • Be fully present with your customers. Really listen to them so they feel valued.
  • Reward them occasionally. Make it fun.
  • Do little things like keeping them informed of local events or places of interest such as museums.

Don’t have the time to do ‘all that stuff’? Then use a loyalty program.

A loyalty program lets you stay in touch with your customers consistently. Some will let you add a note to a customer’s account file so you can follow-up easily. Some have the ability to set up an immediate reward with a specific customer. This feature alone would pay big dividends in keeping your customers happy. Keeping customers thrilled is a great way to get more customers.

What one thing would you want a loyalty program to do to keep your customers happy even when you drop the ball?  Leave me a comment below.

Plenty FULL Services is an affordable loyalty program which makes it simple to keep your customers content. Visit www.plentyfullservices.com to get happy customers bringing customers to you.

Here’s to your Content Customers!

Peter

Keep Them Today, Tomorrow and Forever

Keeping Today’s Customers Tomorrow, Next Month and Next Year

Blanket print advertising has been a traditional mainstay of marketing but in today’s electronic world it is losing ground. Customers are mobile; they want instant results. Few are willing to find an offer in a paper, cut it out and bring it in. There are several permanent problems with crowd_peoplecoupons in the paper. First of all, the customer has to receive the paper. Next, this form of marketing encourages consumers to wait for the best price; they may or may not consider quality or service. Plus, the business has to plan well in advance to meet deadlines and have the right offer for the right season. Then a manual, time-consuming tracking system has to be in place to crunch the numbers quickly to see the effectiveness of the marketing campaign. Once the campaign is in place, it is permanent. It can’t be easily tweaked to suit subtle market changes. It can be very costly for the results it generates.

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Keeping Today’s Customers …

Tomorrow, Next Month and Next Year

Blanket print advertising has been a traditional mainstay of marketing but in today’s electronic world it is losing ground. Customers are mobile; they want instant results. Few are willing to find an offer in a paper, cut it out and bring it in. There are several permanent problems with coupons in the paper. First of all, the customer has to receive the paper. Next, this form of marketing encourages consumers to wait for the best price; they may or may not consider quality or service. Plus, the business has to plan well in advance to meet deadlines and have the right offer for the right season. Then a manual, time-consuming tracking system has to be in place to crunch the numbers quickly to see the effectiveness of the marketing campaign. Once the campaign is in place, it is permanent. It can’t be easily tweaked to suit subtle market changes. It can be very costly for the results it generates.

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Blanket radio advertising is much more current. Continue reading

Hitting the Bullseye: Target Marketing

Putting an advertisement in the paper or the radio is a common practice. According to Trustmode Marketing of Vancouver, this form of advertising is ‘taking fire at whatever there is’. Another name for it is ‘Shotgun Marketing’. Because the market is so generalized it lacks focus and power.

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 Why is it important to have focus and power? Continue reading

2013 Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge Winner

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News Release – June 2013

FINALIST IN CHINOOK ENTREPRENEUR CHALLENGE

Community Futures East Parkland is proud to announce Plenty FULL Services (PFS), a Bashaw based company, was a finalist and the 2013 Runner-up for the Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge (CEC).

The CEC is a partnership between other southern/central Community Futures Offices, in its ninth year, for anyone starting a new business or operating an existing business. The business plan competition is a great opportunity for businesses to obtain free on- line access to training on business plan development, the chance to win prizes, including a top prize of $10,000, and the opportunity to develop ideas into thriving businesses.

Plenty FULL Services is an up-and-coming online Customer Communication Rewards Program for small individual businesses and community business associations. PFS supports rural and urban business communities by helping them engage their customers so they return more often, give a steady stream of referrals and freely promote their favorite individual businesses.

From personal management experience the owners, Peter and Laura Graham, know first hand the visibility and demographic challenges many small businesses face. Their Plenty FULL Services program is the solution for any type of business that wants to be instantly aware of their customer satisfaction, reduce their slow times, build a larger customer base, see and interpret the results of their performance in real time, and build a solid financial foundation to weather any economy.

PFS provides valuable information for businesses to tap into so they can successfully compete with brand names. PFS is about ‘Keeping Your Till FULL’.

For further information:

Plenty FULL Services

www.plentyfullservices.com

P: 780-678-9000

or

Community Futures East Parkland

eastparkland.albertacf.com

P: 403-788-2212