When you want great word of mouth from your customers and clients, then you figure that what customers say would be important right? Er…
Two years ago, Wal-Mart remodeled, trying to hang on to Target shoppers who traded down to Wal-Mart during the recession.
Out went the pallets of items like juice boxes or sweatshirts stacked in the centers of aisles. Merchandise on “end caps,” displays at the ends of aisles, slimmed down. Shelves got shorter, and Wal-Mart whittled the number of items it carried by about 9 percent, so as not to overwhelm shoppers. Customer satisfaction scores soared.
Despite those ratings, Wal-Mart has been encountering one of the longest slides in domestic same-store sales in its history.
“They loved the experience,” William S. Simon, the chief executive of Wal-Mart’s United States division, said at a recent conference. “They just bought less. And that generally is not a good long-term strategy.”
So after remodeling a large percentage of its stores, Wal-Mart is now re-remodeling them, adding back inventory, plopping stacks of stuff into aisles and stacking shelves with a dizzying array of merchandise.
As it turns out, the messier and more confusing a store looks, the better the deals it projects.
“Historically, the more a store is packed, the more people think of it as value — just as when you walk into a store and there are fewer things on the floor, you tend to think they’re expensive,” said Paco Underhill, founder and chief executive of Envirosell, who studies shopper behavior.
What this means it that when your customers tell you they love you, great.
But that doesn’t mean they will buy from you.
This can be like the “Just Friends” category when you are trying to get a date – it’s not the right goal.
Examples of What Customers Say…
Here are just a couple of quick examples of how to move past what your customers are saying:
1. I well remember a story from Australian marketer Brad Sugars who asked a business owner why he stopped running his TV ads. The business owner said, “My customers kept telling me that they loved the store, but hated the annoying ads!”
And Brad’s reply was, “So these people were telling you that they had seen AND remembered your ads, in your store, buying your stuff, paying you money at the counter – and you thought you should stop running them? Hmmmmm.”
2. Websites will almost always work best for sales when they are cluttered with stuff.
Unfortunately many people will say your site is nice when it “looks clean”. They seem to expect your site should be more like Google. But remember, Google’s search bar is NOT for selling – it is to make you get to their their Search Results page which IS for selling and is very cluttered!
Think of ANY big seller online who is testing what they are doing (e.g. Amazon, GoDaddy) and they will always be providing lots of stuff on the page to distract you. The ONLY time they will stop distracting you is once you are about to pay. Then, they want you focused on one goal only.
Where can you take what customers say to you, and test if it is really true?