Picture this: you’re a busy sushi restaurant owner, working long hours and doing everything you can to make your business successful. You have solid staff, great food, a profile on Yelp with good reviews, a Facebook page you update once a week or so…you’ve done a reasonably good job of covering your bases to grow your business…
Then one day something triggers your memory and you realize that regular customer who used to come in 2-3 times per week with a few friends hasn’t been in since new year’s day. He used to spend $300 per week! What happened? Did he have a bad experience? Dislike something you made? Move away? Get lured away by that new place down the street? WHY!?!
What does the restaurant owner do?
Does this sound like a common problem for small business owners? You bet. We’re all consumers – when was the last time a local business reached out to you and said they missed you, valued your business and want you back? How many businesses have you done this disappearing trick with? Do you think money would be better spent investing in their loyal regular customers, or hunting the community for new ones looking for a ‘deal’?
The irony is that consumers WANT to be more connected with their merchants. I work hard for my dollars, and I want merchants to appreciate when I spend them at their business.
“I WANT merchants to be LOYAL to ME”
This is a new way of thinking, but consumers are driving the flow of commerce and using mobile communication tools to determine how and where they spend their dollars. Smart merchants will adapt, the stubborn will find it hard to compete.