How to Lose a Customer

This will be an incredibly valuable lesson on what NOT to do (unless you want your business to fail).

I went for my 32 week ultrasound today and it was remarkable. John and I got to see baby Trinity moving all around, yawning and winking…it was quite amazing. She’s now 4lbs. 5oz and totally perfect.

On the way home, I decided to stop at a scrapbooking store. I’ve never done scrapbooking, but I’m excited to create a “pregnancy and birth” scrapbook with all our ultrasound pictures, the baby shower invites and pictures…all the little memories that make being pregnant so special. (If you’re a guy reading this…don’t worry, I’m getting to the good business stuff ;)

When I walked into the store, I was immediately overwhelmed. There was such a variety of papers, cutters, letters, stickers and more. I really didn’t know where to start. So, I walked up to the counter and I told the woman I had never scrapbooked before and asked if there was a class for beginners that would help them know what to buy, how to do it, etc.

Her answer was “No, there isn’t any class for beginners or that teaches scrapbooking. There’s just a class on Wednesday where you can create a page.” (like I know what a “page” is). Then she just stood there looking at me. So, I wandered around the store for about 10 minutes, no one stopped to help me or ask if I needed help, so I left without buying anything.

I drove over to Michael’s Arts and Crafts store and got the help I wanted and left with $180.00 worth of scrapbooking tools and supplies, plus a huge smile on my face and filled with excitement about the really beautiful scrapbook I’m going to make.

The scrapbooking store missed out on a huge opportunity. Here I was a willing customer with money in my pocket who had driven all the way across town (30 minutes), who was excited about their products. However, their lack of interest in me as the customer and their unwillingness to help lost them a great deal of business. I’ll definitely want more scrapbooking supplies and if they had classes, I would have signed up.

Class are the perfect “upsell” opportunity. When the instructor shows you how to create something in a class, you then go to buy the supplies to create it. I’ve never attended an arts or crafts class where I didn’t spend at least $100.00 on supplies to participate and create. So the store lost all of that business too.

To expand their customer base, they’ll want to reach out to people like me who want to scrapbook but don’t know how. There’s lots of supplies to buy and lots of opportunity to sell. But, they are missing a HUGE marketing opportunity by not marketing to novices to expand their business.

So, if you want to lose a customer, don’t listen to them, don’t attract them, don’t help them and let them leave without buying.

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