Newsletter - 2012 02
Brought to You By BMA Marketing
Customers' issues can be a huge opportunity
Chris Swanson, Owner
Founded by Ray Tuttle
20 years ago I discovered something amazing. A customer who believes there has been a problem or issue with a service or product offers the business a rare opportunity to deepen the relationship with that customer.
Many years ago I worked in the retail tire business. The parent company was mature and very sales savvy. They encouraged employees to seek ways to satisfy the customer. One existing solution I perfected was to gladly and graciously replace a hubcap anytime there was a concern that our work caused damage or loss.
I built a good relationship with a nearby used hubcap store and then made my own "customer satisfaction" form to handle hubcap replacement. The form became part of a simple process - fill it out, call the hubcap store, send the customer over - problem solved.
I began to look forward to executing what was now a pleasant experience for all involved...upset customers quickly became delighted as they realized there would be no argument, and instead a quick apology and a fast, complimentary solution. In some cases it appeared that our work was not even the cause of the damage or loss, but I often chose to generate long-term, customer goodwill and invest a few dollars in correcting the issue. These satisfied customers consistently returned and sought me out, often referring family and friends.
Today at BMA I utilize these same principals. In the rare instance a Merchant Coupon Partner goes A-wall and does not present their coupons, I will replace that merchant at no cost to the center. I will invest in the long-term satisfaction of my client centers.
I appreciate the effort bowling centers make to develop and keep customers.
SALES AND MARKETING
How to Create an Irresistible Call to Action
A call to action (CTA) is a phrase designed to get someone to do something. It is usually intended as a trigger to launch a prospective customer on the path to conversion.
A great CTA can rally website visitors or ad viewers to move ahead with the purchase process by creating a sense of urgency or a possibility that must be acted on immediately.
A CTA should create a sense of well-being or offer a solution to a known or perceived problem. It should spell out clearly how a person should proceed and answer the universal question that drives so many actions: "What's in it for me?"
A CTA has three elements: the action you want people to take, the words you use to inspire the action and the physical appearance of the CTA (font, design, placement).
Be realistic and clear about what actions you want your CTA message to prompt and what a recipient can expect for taking the action. A CTA works when:
- It triggers an emotional reaction.
- It creates a sense of urgency.
- It provides an incentive that motivates action.
- It tells clearly how to proceed.
To create urgency in your CTA, give a deadline for taking action.
The urgency may suggest an impending price increase or a limited supply, offer an upgrade, or include a free gift or extra accessories. Try to make the cutoff date in the same month as your materials will be received.
A good CTA delivers a lot of information in just a few words and also includes compelling action words. Following are some examples:
- Use this coupon today for a 20% discount.
- Learn more now about the benefits of distance learning.
- Click here to get the full story.
- Contact us at once for a free report on health insurance options.
- Learn right away how to increase your earning potential.
- Call right away and ask for our web discount.
- Subscribe now for free tips on starting your own business.
- Call today for a free consultation.
Sprinkle CTA links generously throughout your website. You can also include CTAs in email messages and newsletters and on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Be sure that your CTA links to the landing page where the action is to be fulfilled, such as where the product or service can be purchased or the offer redeemed.
You may need to experiment with several versions of your CTA in order to find one that really resonates with your audience.
Remember to craft your CTA based on your target market and what you are offering, and clearly indicate what you want respondents to do.
As with any marketing technique, trial and error will help guide you to the most effective CTA for your business and your customers.
Customers Will Adore You When You Do These Things
Each month I’ll give you a new question. Just reply to this email for the answer.
What English-speaking Caribbean Island has a Spanish name meaning "bearded"?
Why Not Pass Me On?
If you've enjoyed this newsletter and found its information useful, please pass it to another business owner or a co-worker.
Selections from the best articles seen online this month.
The McRib's Magic Marketing Sauce
For years the McRib has periodically reappeared on menus at McDonald's, never staying in one place for too long. McDonald's uses McRib sightings as quirky promotional events, an effective marketing strategy that combines the appeal of exclusivity, scarcity and seasonality. Limited-time-only campaigns generate buzz and excitement but work only if the product is well-known and the promotion is short term.
10 Management Myths
There's risk to adopting every new bright idea or management theory that comes along. So-called best practices may actually be bad habits. Take the open-door policy. It can be a source of constant interruption and an excuse for your reports to bother you when they ought to be handling things on their own. The same can be said for open-office concepts, which tempt workers to spend time talking instead of working.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie's book isn't new: It was first published in 1953.
But that doesn't mean its advice is passé. Indeed, it's one of those evergreen books that smart business owners would be wise to pick up and leaf through at least once every year.
At the heart of the book is the advice that if you are interested in other people, they will be interested in you. If you take the time to listen and really understand someone, he or she will like and respect you.
This advice, of course, is critical for anyone in sales. The best salespeople know that asking questions and then shutting up is the fastest way to build rapport. And because people do business with people they like, having a good relationship with your clients and prospects will lead to more sales.
The book is golden, whatever your role in a business. Indeed, it's valuable for life in general. Who doesn't want more friends and more influence?
Quotes by...Ken Blanchard
Don't quack like a duck...soar like an eagle.
In the past a leader was a boss. Today's leaders must be partners with their people...they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.
Too many leaders act as if the sheep...their people...are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep.
I absolutely believe in the power of tithing and giving back. My own experience about all the blessings I've had in my life is that the more I give away, the more that comes back. That is the way life works, and that is the way energy works.
The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.
The productivity of a work group seems to depend on how the group members see their own goals in relation to the goals of the organization.
Ken Blanchard is the author of The One Minute Manager.
Business owners can get customers to fall in love with their company - and boost their bottom line - by going the extra mile, creating a connection and giving clients a reason to return. Many successful entrepreneurs and companies have adopted the strategy. Take award-winning Laguna Beach interior designer Rejoy Geehan. She treats her clients like royalty from beginning to end.
From arriving to a first meeting with a small housewarming gift to following up with a thank-you card, Geehan turns a business transaction into a warm relationship.
PR titan Cerrell Associates, whose founder Joe Cerrell worked closely with former President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, draws on that connection to boost business.
Connecting a story or a heart-filled past with your present business is a sure way to create loyalty.
Getting customers to fall in love with your business or products is also about the simple things.
Netflix understands this golden rule. The company rose to the top and stayed there (at least until recently) because of the simple principle of making their service easy to use.
Netflix has a superb website, easy-to-find contact information, and a local call center so customers reach real people and not some poorly staffed overseas office.
From a small-business owner to a midsize or big business, creating loyalty is all about making your customer fall in love with your company and brand in some way.
Focus! 3 Ways to Deal With Distracted Staff
Workplace distractions can take a costly toll when they are not managed properly. It's important that business owners stay on top of the problem. Following are the three biggest distractions and what business owners can do about them:1. Personal Technology Management shouldn't have a "no personal phone use" rule.
You don't want employees to feel like coming to work is a daily sentence. Overly strict rules also kill creativity.
Instead, encourage the use of personal technology like cell phones and social media.
Web browsing should be kept brief and to a minimum. If you notice it getting out of hand, distribute a company memo.
If an employee still doesn't adhere to management guidelines, then it's time to have a one-on-one chat.
2. Time Management
If keeping track of time is tough for your employees, especially with multiple deadlines and tasks, then suggest free time-tracking tools like ClockingIT or schedule management tools like Evernote.
3. The Chatterbox
There's always one chatterbox who's like a sinking ship that drags down other coworkers, most of whom feel awkward listening to boring tales about the chatterbox coworker’s private life.
Set up the workplace so that if an employee turns his or her head it doesn't give him or her access to a coworker.
The more employees have to go out of their way, even move their bodies away from their desks to engage in conversation, the less likely they are to indulge in gossip and unnecessary chatter.
Are You Ready for When Cupid Comes to Work?
If love is in the air, Cupid's arrow is unlikely to be deflected by a no-dating policy.
However, companies should have a policy in place that deals with relationships between coworkers.
Office romances are pretty common these days, and in most instances consensual relationships between employees present no danger to the company.
Indeed, love-struck workers tend to be happy workers who are often more productive and have fewer health issues.
However, as an employer, it's critical that you have a fraternization policy that spells out what is acceptable in the workplace and what constitutes harassment.
Some companies develop an antinepotism policy or a notification procedure that involves human resources or a designated equal employment opportunity officer. Other firms require employees to sign so-called love contracts to affirm that their relationship is voluntary.
Be aware that it is never a good idea for a manager to be romantically involved with a subordinate. This type of situation should be clearly spelled out in the company policy as inappropriate and subject to corrective action.
Whatever procedure or policy you institute, communicate it to all employees, including new hires, and make sure that everyone in the organization understands the policy and knows the penalties for violating it.
The greatest danger to the company occurs when a relationship between employees sours. If this occurs, you may need to transfer one party or the other so they no longer work together. If a transfer, relocation or reassignment is not feasible, let them decide who should leave.
A broken heart can sometimes result in severe emotional distress. Be sure that your employees know about your employee assistance program if you have one.
But in a community culture inspired by... (more)
New Bowler Marketing Results
We are grateful for the opportunity to fill lanes in our client centers...
More results reported by our client centers... Click here
BMA's Industry Partners and Resources
Contact our Industry Partners for immediate solutions. Also, when you select BMA to assist with filling lanes, you'll receive an exclusive email from us containing gifts and special offers from our partners...
BowlingIndustry.com - an online magazine + social networking community for bowling center owners, operators and professionals in the business of bowling.
BowlingMarketing.com - a complete bowling center marketing system that contains a ready to run Marketing Plan loaded with proven programs, timelines and task dates, customized material and weekly conference calls to drive and manage the process.
BowlingRewards.com - The Bowling Rewards program is a revolution in open play/league marketing and includes comprehensive database building features with electronic gift, cash back rewards and fundraising inside a single card.
BPAAWebServices.com - features rich web sites designed for bowling centers at a very reasonable cost. BMA is not affiliated with the BPAA, but our client centers tell us they are happy with their BPAA web site, so we are glad to pass along solutions that work. We like the killer features... email list manager, online party reservation system, easy to update on your own or have BPAA web masters update for a small fee...and more.
Max Cook / Stardust Marketing - Over 45 years experience in recreation and entertainment facility operations. Multi-unit responsibility for the past 20 years. Experience in employee relations, contract negotiation, grievance handling, and conflict resolution. Development and execution of business plan and budget responsibilities. Strong marketing background with a proven track record of execution.
Partywirks.com - convert your website visitors into buyers by offering online scheduling and buying capability.