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inside the crafters’ mind


advance of changing them? This is an area of frustration for many shoppers, but an area in which it’s quite easy to make adjustments.


Policies & Procedures: Are your policies in place for ease of operations (your convenience) or are they in place to make your customers’ shopping experiences enjoyable? Are your employees empowered to satisfy customers, or are their hands tied by restrictive rules and punishment for not adhering to them? Yes, there should be a balance of the two, but the overall customer experience needs to be at the forefront when policies and procedures are created.


Customer Service: Great service is perhaps the number one reason shoppers return to any business. Provide great service and you give your customers something to tell others about. Provide bad or no service and the same is likely to happen. Which would you prefer customers communicate? Do you work on remembering customers’ names and life details? If not, work on that – everyone appreciates being remembered and recognized.


Pricing: Are your prices in line with what other suppliers in your area charge? If you aren’t sure, it might be time for a field trip. Most shoppers understand that mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar stores pay a bit more than the big box and online storefronts for some items, but most will not pay a significantly higher price for the same items available elsewhere. It’s important to be truly competitive, and offer unique products and service differentiators, that could offset pricing differences.


Concept #3:


Motivate Me To Visit… and Spend!


Communication & Inspiration: Do you regularly update your store’s website with class and event announcements, and inspiration? Do you produce and send an email newsletter that delivers updates and specials to those who opt to receive it? And, does it have a “call to action,” such as a limited-time special just for newsletter readers? Do you use any or all of the new social media tools to communicate last-minute deals and surprise events? Most of us are busy and we need motivation to act with immediacy. Inspire us!


Differentiate or Die: With all the choices shoppers have available to them, why should shoppers spend their-hard earned dollars with you? How are you different? It’s vital to not only communicate your differentiators, but also execute them. For example, if your biggest differentiator is that customers can try tools before they buy them, you might offer not only an area where the tools can be tried independently, but have trained staff who can demonstrate all the ways in which the tools can be used. Teach me something new and I am likely to buy!


Education, Classes and Crops: Are your staff members well trained and knowledgeable about the products you carry? Are they able to effectively communicate what they know to your customers? If not, perhaps it’s time to institute regular training sessions, some of which could be provided, free of charge, by your suppliers. Are your classes aimed at everyone from beginners to advanced crafters? If not, they should be. Teaching someone a new skill endears them to you


46 scrapbook business


Great service is perhaps the number one reason shoppers return to any business.


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