Annoying Customers And Losing Business

Felicia and I connected at a little café halfway between us for yesterday’s impromptu client meeting.

YELP showed the café closing at 5, so we scheduled a 4pm meeting. Upon my arrival I learned the place was closing early due to lack of business.

Yet as two new customers, we represented immediate business and future potential…so how does THAT square?

I’ll confess to being surprised and annoyed. The hours listed on Google, YELP, and their website were a promise, and their decision to leave early belied that promise. There was no suggestion we stay while they cleaned up; just “We’re closing early!”

Listing your business hours provides structure around which customers make their plans. Barring a fire or someone dying, you should stick to those hours.

The owner was apologetic, but unimpressed. “You’ll get your most up-to-date information from our Instagram account. We always keep that current.”

This would have been a helpful tidbit to have on the website.

There was also a subliminal message of “You didn’t look in the right place, Dummy,” which I found unacceptable.

Smart business owners tie in their presence on social media apps to their website, using these vehicles to constantly promote events, products, and services. Regular customers know where to look for current, accurate information.

But hundreds of social media apps splinter the buying public. Why must I check them all in case your hours changed?

Seems kinda disrespectful to customers, I think.

In fact, new customers can be counted on to visit just two places for information: the website, and YELP.

Obviously, this owner was unconcerned about losing our business. And given the abundance of coffee places, I’m lacking incentive to return to her establishment.

Everyone has competition, regardless of what you sell, and customers will return to those making an extra effort. Customers want to be treated like they matter, and disrespecting them is guaranteed to lose their business.

And if your business is slow today, post a promotion on Facebook or Instagram inviting your audience to shop with you for a special, limited time offer.

After all, nobody should ever need to close early due to lack of business.

Of course if you’d rather be surfing, let us know in advance so we can plan accordingly.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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