Solving the "Vanishing Customer" Mystery ...
Once upon a time in America, a retail business could expect a continuing relationship with its customers, usually for years, and frequently a relationship with regular customers and their children that might have endured for several generations.
In recent years, such enduring customer loyalty has become much less common, leaving many retailers scratching their heads as, one by one, many of their regular customers just seemed to disappear.
But times change. And unfortunately for business, the high degree of customer loyalty which was normal in the "good old days" is now just a pleasant memory of times gone by.
And in today's world, there are usually only three reasons why the "regular" customers of any business are likely to disappear:
- Some "regulars" die, or move out of your area ...
And there's nothing you can do about the loss of those customers. Death is part of life, and people get relocated. Hopefully, some of their friends may still be your customers.
- Some "regulars" become unhappy with your prices, service, selection, or quality ...
And it's never possible to satisfy every customer, and you already know that. But these days many people WON'T let a merchant know if they're not happy about something. Today's unhappy customers usually just leave without a word, and don't come back.
- Some of your former "regulars" may have happened to visit your competitor one day, found something they like better, and just began doing business with the other guys.
Maybe your store was "boring" to them. Or maybe they were curious about the other guys and wanted to try something new. Or maybe the other guys have something you don't.
And maybe you can eventually win back some of that lost business. And maybe you can't.
"Customer Loyalty" has become a scarce commodity these days ...
Although it sounds nice, "Customer Loyalty" is rapidly becoming an antiquated concept for most people living in the 21st century. And these days, if and when customers leave, it's very unlikely that they will bother to tell you why they don't do business with you anymore.
They probably don't intend to be rude. We just live in an age where attention spans are shorter, distractions are overwhelming, and serious information overload is the norm.
So the only way a retail business can survive is to [a] try to keep existing customers as happy as possible, in any way possible; and [b] always keep prospecting for new customers.
Consequently, most successful retail businesses today must budget and spend 15% or more of their gross annual sales revenues on advertising and marketing, to:
[a] Attract new customers who will hopefully soon become regular customers; and
[b] Keep their established regular customers coming in the door.
Advertising is the Lifeblood of Every Successful Business ...
... IF it is done effectively. When your advertising is right, your business will flourish and grow.
But do it wrong, and both you and your employees may soon be looking for other jobs.
You probably already know this, and are probably working diligently right now to make your advertising as effective as possible.
However, there are certain often overlooked but extremely important social factors that can negate the benefits of every penny you spend on advertising ... and then some!
What can you do constructively to KEEP THAT BUSINESS? That's what this article is about.