One thing is certain about us: we love a bargain. Especially after the madness of the December rush, we’re quick to get into stores and check out the specials, discounts, and deals on offer.
Unfortunately, those specials and discounts don’t always translate to great customer experience. If a store is under-resourced and more people than usual are coming in, salespeople may not be able to provide the same experience they would when it’s quieter – and in some less customer-centric outlets, salespeople may not prioritise great service for those paying less.
Maintaining your customer experience during sale season
Put aside for a moment that a special or promo is a great way to shift old stock or inject quick money into the business. Having more people coming into your shop – now there’s a real opportunity.
Bargain hunters – or those who have taken advantage of a special or eVoucher deal to try something new – might not be your usual customers. However, if you’ve enticed them into your store, then they have the potential to become returning clients. It’s the idea behind the catch-and-keep-‘em strategy, and something every team member should learn to use to their advantage: win over your new customers with a great experience, and give them a reason to return again and again.
There’ll always be a portion of customers who will just keep looking for the next bargain, just as there are those who will try and price-match or haggle their way through the till. These are often the same people who will only buy at sales, but they’re probably a relatively small proportion of your market – otherwise, customers would only ever buy when you’re having a sale.
Obviously, sales and specials may attract some of these customers, but every promo is an opportunity to grow your customer base. If you give your customers a reason to come back during the rest of the year, that growth will be easy.
How can you turn bargain hunters into raving fans?
It starts with treating them the same way you would any other customer. Imagine someone comes through your restaurant doors, clutching an eVoucher for a delicious meal. They’re excited to fill their stomachs and have fun with friends, and they’re happy to buy drinks at full price since they’ve already picked up a bargain. However, when their meal comes out, it’s far smaller than their friend who ordered the same but paid full price – and their server just dumps it on the table without any kind of great service. . . do you think they’re coming back?
It’s not the customer’s fault that they’re spending less
You’ve chosen to put your products or services on special, and now you’ve got the chance to win them over with top service, so treat them just as well (or possibly even better!) than any other customer. Once you get people in front of you, make sure you wow them – leave them hungry to return and pay full price.
Additionally, use this as an opportunity to get as many customers as you can to join your loyalty programme or subscribe to your emails. Get your team to ask each new customer, “Are you on our loyalty programme?” and consider incentivising this with vouchers for their next purchase, or a two-for-one deal. Having customers become part of your community means you can stay top of mind and keep enticing them back in-store (and your marketing team will thank you for it!)
With the boost in foot traffic that comes over ‘sale season’, businesses have a huge opportunity to grow their customer bases. Deliver a fantastic customer experience no matter how much someone’s paid, and you might just turn them into a lifetime customer. Now that’s worth a discount.