Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Marketing Tool That Rarely Fails

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"Ummm...that was on a rack that said $10," I hesitantly said as I saw the price of the sweater ring up at $16.99.  The clerk, an older man with little motivation, said, "No, it's not ringing up that way".  I grew a little bolder, "I am sure it said $10, right?" I looked askance at my daughter, hoping she had seen the same sign.  She nodded her head.

The clerk sighed and said he would have to go check.  He mosied his way down the long aisle, going in search of the price. We waited.  And waited some more.  We were on a deadline.  I looked at another clerk who wasn't doing anything.  "Could you ring us out?" I requested.  I didn't have time to wait on a price check for a sweater.

She sweetly obliged and just as we were getting ready to walk away, the missing clerk slowly walked towards me.  "You were looking at the wrong thing on the rack.  It was actually the other sweaters."  I told him okay and walked away from the sweater that was on a rack with a big sign saying "SALE $10".

I couldn't help but think that J.C. Penney's made a big mistake that day.  You see, the right marketing move would have been to say "You know what? That isn't very clear.  We will be happy to mark that sweater down to $10 for you."  That little bit of marketing would have cost them $6.99, would have made me a happy customer who is not only going to come back to their store, but who will also tell others about the wonderful way I was treated.

We have learned this tactic in running our company, as well.  If someone is not happy, it is better to take a loss and fix or repair something than to risk the negative comments about your company that are inevitable. Happy customers are one of the best ways to grow your company.  Sometimes that means admitting you are wrong or made a mistake...even if you don't feel like you really did.

So, if you have a business, remember this:

A happy customer is the best ad you could ever purchase!

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