Posted by Becky Carroll on August 9, 2008
In the current economy, consumers are holding on to their money more tightly and making hard choices about if, and where, to spend it. Having a great customer experience greatly increases the chances that a) customers will come back to shop there again and b) they will tell their friends and family about how great it was! Word of mouth is very powerful marketing; studies show that consumers trust friend recommendations more than information from vendors.
Ikea is one of those stores with a great shopping experience that evokes word of mouth. In addition to the fun one can have by sitting on all those couches or envisioning how that bedroom would look in your own house, Ikea does things to make a difference even to the smallest customers.
Ikea has a play area for the littlest ones, where they can romp while their parents are enjoying the shopping. However, Ikea actually encourages families to bring their children with them through the showroom experience, starting right from the entrance. At our local Ikea store, a staircase leads shoppers up to the showroom floor. I was very impressed when I noticed they had put in a hand rail at kid-level, just right for those youngsters to hold onto while navigating the steps (see photo). The sign on the hand rail says the following:
“We care about the little ones, too. Look for the hand rails mounted lower, specially for your children.”
This does two things for the customer. One, the rail itself helps the kiddos feel like grown-ups (look, Mom, I can reach the hand rail!). Two, it specifically tells customers that Ikea has thought about their experience in advance and has done something to make it better.
Whether your customers are consumers or businesses, having a solid understanding of them makes all the difference in the sales and marketing process. How do your customers shop your business? What would make it easier to buy from you? Craft your own customer buying experience around the answers to those questions, and you will find an increase in not only sales, but also in new customers as the word spreads that you are a fabulous place to meet their needs.
For more great insight into the retail customer experience, see the these smart blogs: Doug Fleener’s Retail Contrarian, CB Whittemore’s Flooring the Consumer, Stephanie Weaver’s Experienceology.
(Photo credit top: rmarmion; photo credit bottom: bcarroll)
Posted in Customer experience, Customer strategy, Customers Rock!, Marketing | Tagged: Customer experience, Experienceology, Flooring the Consumer, Ikea, kids, retail, Retail Contrarian | 11 Comments »
Posted by Becky Carroll on November 28, 2007
Many of us are often called upon to give speeches. I do it on a regular basis and find it quite fun. Others of us are not too keen to get up in front of an audience, whether at a conference, a customer presentation, or at an end-of-year employee gathering.
C. B. Whittemore, blogger extraordinaire at Flooring the Consumer, came up with 10 Tips to Not Trip Up a Speech. I especially like her first one (also applies if you are doing any singing!):
1. Never eat a banana immediately before a speech. For that matter, avoid dairy products, too. Both contribute to a distracting need to clear one’s throat during a presentation.
Here are my tips to add to her list.
- Find a friendly face in the audience. You should “work the room”, of course, but in so doing you might find a face or two that are frowning. Don’t take it personally! Find a friendly face and keep coming back to that person for encouragement.
- Always keep a mint or hard candy with you at the podium. Sometimes a sip of water doesn’t clear the “frog” in your throat!
- Minimize the number of bullets on each slide. No one can read a slide with too many words on it! Three bullets of short phrases are all that is necessary.
- Include something humorous at strategic points during your speech. A light laugh is always good to keep people focused!
- If you are comfortable in front of the crowd, get out from behind the
podium lecturn! A bit of wandering makes your presentation more visually interesting. (I know, C. B. had this one, too, but I think it is worth mentioning again.)
- Turn off your lavaliere microphone if you go to the bathroom before your speech. ‘Nuff said.
All you public speakers out there, what are your top tips for a successful speech? Add them to the comments or to C.B.’s post, and let us know what makes you shine!
Posted in B2B Marketing, Marketing | Tagged: C.B. Whittemore, Flooring the Consumer, Marketing, speaking, tips | 11 Comments »