COM0014 Blog Post #6 – What is your favorite customer story?

My last post touched briefly on a shop local initiative that I had created in order to help generate sales in my small community.  One of our major struggles is finding a way to encourage residents to spend their money within our region as opposed to driving 40 minutes outside the area and shop at the big box stores. And so, what better way to do so than to bribe shoppers with a cash incentive as a reward for shopping locally. In short, we rewarded 2 residents with $1000 each for simply shopping locally. In 2013, we successfully launched 2 shop local campaigns and my favourite customer story is from it.

A high end clothing boutique participated in the first campaign. When asked for her feedback at the end of the program, she did not feel as though it had necessarily brought more customers and sales through her door. With further discussion, she admitted to not having fully promoted the contest within her own store and that she was in part responsible for the mediocre outcome (in her store). Reluctantly, she decided to participate the 2nd time around with the understanding that its success was in part based on her enthusiasm and excitement in the program, and that the more she promoted it and encouraged the customers to participate by simply completing a ballot, that she would see a better outcome.

During a random drop in to see her and to see how the contest was going this second time around, she was thrilled to report that it was going well, and revealed that a customer of hers mentioned shopping in her store simply because she was a participant in the program. My client then told me that because her customer had shared this with her, she was in full support of the program and now saw the value in it. She had a visible outcome, one that many business owners hope to see when investing in advertising/marketing. As exciting as that alone was, the real thrill came when it was time to draw a name for the prize. Low and below, the winning ballot came from her store! You can imagine how thrilled she was to hear this. not only did she generate revenue, but one of her loyal customers won $1000 simply for shopping there. The smile on her face made all the hard work worthwhile. And that is my favourite customer story!

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