One of the most important keys to business success in today’s marketplace is being open for business at a time when your customers wish to do business with you, and not simply when you wish to do business with your customers.
Many retailers open their doors from 9am through 5pm, yet many do little or no trade before 10 or 11 in the morning, yet they close at 5pm sharp when it would be far more convenient for many of their customers to call in between 5pm and 6pm on their way home from work. It’s also considerably more profitable for the business owner.
So when would your customers like to do business with you? There is only one way to find out … ASK!
Many believe that the major driver of people shopping online is price. This is simply not true. The run away reason why more and more people are choosing to shop online is service. Service which includes wider product range, products or models not available locally, excellent returned goods policies, high speed delivery options, however the runaway reason is that the internet is open for business 24/7.
Another issue that customers have is when a business states its opening times, yet fails to adhere to them.
Some time back, I was waiting outside a shopping centre in front of a drycleaning store. The store’s closing time of 8.30pm was clearly written on the door. At 8.20pm, the owner shut up shop. At 8.25, a customer turned up to collect his drycleaning. The customer was furious and justifiably so.
Another version of this is the shop that clearly states its closing time – but if you happen to be in the store around that time, it is impossible to get served as staff are busy cashing up or putting away display stock. I’m not blaming the staff for this, as I know they are only being paid until closing time. The fault lies squarely with management, who has failed to roster staff on beyond closing time to attend to all that needs to be done in shutting up shop.
The moral of opening hours … you can’t do business if your doors are closed.