Often times we wonder why didn’t this promotion work? Or, I love this new flavor, why haven’t my customers jumped on board? We brainstorm constantly to come up with new ways to stimulate sales and we, as owners, become excited about these new ideas. Then we implement them and…well…they don’t take off as we hoped. Some of our exciting, fresh, new ideas just wilt and die.
So what happens next?
Well we don’t attack our next brainstorming sessions with the same enthusiasm. Our next cool rollouts are not executed properly because the last ones didn’t work so well. Why try if there’s the chance that it will fail? Why put all this effort into a product, marketing plan, fundraiser, event, etc. if it may not help at all? Fast forward a year or so and we end up not trying anything at all. We’ve settled into the dangerous realm of…”COMPLACENCY!” NOOOOO!
But wait a second. You are constantly trying to figure out what will help stimulate sales. You are consistently working to know what your customers want or wish you had. What new flavors will get them back? Are my prices ok? What promotion will get more visits? What does my competition have that I don’t? You rack your brain in an attempt to answer these questions and boost your bottomline.
Well here’s an idea. If you want to know what your customers are looking for, why not just ask them?
You’d be surprised what little dialogue the average ice cream business actually has with their customer base. Dialogue that can be invaluable to an operation in regards to implementing and executing a plan. Save your late night google searches and coffee induced all nighters! Just get out there and talk to your customers.
- Walk the line at night – When you are busiest, don’t be inside making cones and cups. Get outside the counter and talk to your customers. Find out some valuable information. It may cost you an hour or two of extra labor but the customer communication and bond is priceless
- Use slower times to converse – Daytime sales are sluggish. If you are in there or you have help you can trust to talk to customers, than do it. Start a conversation that will lead to ideas.
- Poll your customers – There is nothing wrong with literally making a poll and handing it out or having it in your store. Get direct feedback. The anonymity may help customers be more honest and that is what you want.
- Use social media – Your social media platform is a good way to get information, suggestions and tips that you can use to develop new ideas and strategies.
- Put together a focus group – Take your most loyal customers, maybe some opinionated family members, a staff member, and some random people and put them in a room one night. Ask them some questions and get them talking about your operation and product. It will cost you a pot of coffee a pizza or two and some ice cream, but the feedback will be worth it.
There are many ideas out there to help your bottom line. Don’t limit yourself to yourself. To learn what your customers are looking for simply ask your customers and watch the floodgates open!
Need Help with organizing an event opr promotion? Or tried a promoton and failed?
Call Sentry Equipment today for consultation on such issues