The word “tricks”, does that make you think of magic and illusion, or lies and disillusionment?
When it comes to businesses trying to get you to spend more and to return more often, they think that means large signs advertising unbelievable deals and discounts. As the consumers, have we not learned from past experiences when we look through our wardrobes and see unworn items that you couldn’t just leave on the shelf because you were going to get fit and therefore the Size 10, although snug, was going to look amazing!
Or the “Turkish Rug Closing Down Sale”! There is a store in Sydney that has displayed this sign for over 25 years, does this really build trust with the consumer or are they assuming that prospective customers drive past every day and maybe not know that this is the true “for eternity sale”!
Signage, although eye-catching, is becoming irrelevant to many customers, as we are constantly bombarded at every turn and have become skeptical to outrageous discounts. Apart from large garish signs with discounts and savings, another well recognised “trick” is to have a rack of beautiful items at the front door and then when perusing a store assistant advises you there are more on another rack, which is positioned right at the back so of course you have to run the gauntlet passing by some amazing creations at full price.
The “trick” that seems to cause much irritation to the customer is the “2 for 1” or “kids eat free” deals. These deals are usually displayed on a large banner along roadways and in venues with very large print, and then after you have managed to get across four lanes of traffic and found a parking spot in an area that was designed for cars no bigger than a mini, you read the fine print on the menu in a font style and size that you need a magnifying glass that states it has to be used on a “day not ending with Y” or some other silly stipulation. For diners they are trapped with three alternatives:
- Do they pack up the family and get back into the car?
- Do they suffer in silence, eat their meal and go, vowing never to return?
- Does the hospitality and service from every staff member create a wonderful experience that even though they may have used a “trick” to get you in it was well worth it and you would return?
Using tricks to bring customers in can really backfire and for staff it is a nightmare handling customers who are irate and at times aggressive. Why put your staff through this?
If you need tricks to bring in customers, then I would seriously question the value of your product and service. If you truly believe you have to discount to be competitive take a moment to look at “adding value” instead of discounting.
Customers are not stupid and will certainly not return and will defiantly tell others if they believe they have been tricked.