Every day you most likely get a number of e-mail offers and text messages asking you to visit a local business and make a purchase. Some are even addressed to you personally and might mention something you’ve been researching online.
Why are these offers just for you? Are they offering you $12 off your oil change because the last time you had your oil changed you used a coupon good for $13 off and the business wants to see if they can get you to come in with just a $12 discount? Or are they offering you a special, new type of sandwich because it’s similar to other sandwiches that you’ve purchased before? Yes, surely those are two of the ways the offers are “personalized” and are supposed to “speak to you”. But, there are ways that those local businesses can really make those offers work and build stronger relationships with their customers along the way. Here are five ways that customers love to connect with local businesses:
The employees of those local businesses make a special effort to get to know their customers
When a customer pulls in to get their oil changed, they welcome them by name and ask how their car has been running. They give them guidance on when they truly need to have the filter in the glove compartment changed. They practice one of the basic tenets of Local Store Marketing (LSM)…. provide great customer service and create personal connections with their customers.
The business supports the people that live in their community
They might hold a fundraiser for a local boy scout troop. Yep, major loyalty points from the families of the troop for helping to send their boys on their summer retreat. And, surely the local business benefited with additional sales from the fundraising event…and they deserve it.
They make customers smile and have a little bit of fun during an otherwise hectic day
It might be the local restaurant decorating their drive-thru with holiday decorations. We’re not talking about a couple of snowflakes…. We’re talking all out, let’s take the kids through the drive-thru so they can see the holiday lights and animated snowman…. holiday decorations! This is another of the tenets of Local Store Marketing…create a fun experience for your customers that makes them want to come back again and again.
They go the extra mile with kindness and customer care
The local boutique might provide doggie treats for customers out shopping with their pets and set a water dish at their front door on hot summer days. Every passing dog knows exactly where this shop is, as they pass by on their daily walk. Now, these dogs haven’t ever purchased a thing at this shop…but, the kindness and thoughtfulness of the shop owners have made the dog’s owners do a lot more than window shop at this local business.
They surprise and delight their customers with unexpected treats
Some would call this “sampling”, which is definitely something that’s high on the list of Local Store Marketing tactics. You’ve seen it, when a customer is at a local restaurant, with three small boys all under the age of 7, and an employee comes out with samples of their latest dessert…you’re witnessing big time gratitude.
Practicing some basic Local Store Marketing principles and connecting with your customers makes a bigger impact on your sales than any type of digital or social marketing will. And great LSM makes a huge impact on your employees. LSM activities make it fun for them to come to work and proud of their job. LSM is a perfect complement to today’s digital and social marketing world. It takes “big data” marketing from the national level and brings it to the “personal” level at the local point-of-sale, which is where it matters most.