The 50% Any One Item of Your Choice Coupon mentioned in our last post is a hot item; we spent the morning e-mailing templates to those who requested them. Many of you said you were going to e-mail your coupons to customers before Thanksgiving – that’s a great idea! You should also print out a bunch and hand them out to customers shopping in your store this weekend through Wednesday 11/21. But a few readers asked what to do if a customer came in to shop but didn’t have a coupon.
Give the customer a coupon!
Here’s the deal: if you want to infuriate customers, tell those who don’t have a coupon, “Sorry, you don’t have a coupon so you don’t get the discount.” Rub it in by adding, “Here’s how much you lost today ______________.” Then sit back and watch the fireworks at the checkout counter. See, the goal is to build strong relationships with customers, and positive word of mouth – the best advertising, and the kind money can’t buy. If you blatantly make some customers feel less important than other customers, they’ll be out the door so fast it’ll make your head spin. And they won’t be back.
Now, we know what some of you are thinking: how can we make it special for really loyal customers if we don’t reinforce the fact that you must have a coupon in order to save? Won’t that irritate those customers who have one? Maybe, but if the coupon is readily available to anyone, your loyal customers won’t mind, but the couponless customers will. In addition to thinking they are paying too much, they’ll think you just don’t care about them or their business.
So, any time you run a coupon event, make sure that you have plenty of extras available for customers who don’t have one, or keep a master at each checkout. Hang signs in the window and throughout the store that read, “If you don’t have a coupon, we’ll find one for you! Every customer is special at (Insert your store name here)”
Black Friday, and all in-store events for that matter, should be viewed as an opportunity to attract new customers as well as thrill those who already know and love your store. Every one of your customers wishes they could tell you what to put on sale, so why not let them? “Create Your Own Coupon” sales have been known to pull a response as much as six times greater than a normal coupon promotion. We say, go for it!