Mother’s Day Missed Opportunity

My girl friend posted on facebook Friday evening that she was going to pick out her mom’s day gift and tagged herself at the IBD (Independent Bike Dealer) she was shopping.  Of course I got excited about it because I know the guys so this was a great opportunity for me to give a shout out in their favor.  Which I did, on Facebook for the world to see.
I then promptly emailed the owner and owner to be to let them know that she was coming in the next day (Saturday) to pick up her bike.  I wanted to see if they could do anything for her.  I was thinking maybe put a bow on it.  I also wanted to make sure that she had a good helmet.   She is a mother of three boys and her head needs to be protected as she is chasing them on their bikes.  I gave them my credit card and instructions and went on my way.
Checking back into Facebook mid-day I was shocked to see the next comment I was tagged on: 
“Over promise under delivered.  Such a disappointment.”

I called my friend to find out that she had an appointment at 10am that Saturday to get her new bike.  Her perception was they were not ready and it took them an extra 30 minutes to get her bike ready for her to take it away, while she was trying to keep her three boys off all of the equipment.
Taking this story at face value, there are still so many opportunities for great service.  The IBD was probably fitting her for the bike.  This is critical for the ultimate riding experience.   One of the most important components to our training at Mann Group is FORECASTING!  Not projecting your sales forecast but tell me what is going to happen…don’t assume I know.
Missed opportunity #1:  FORECAST 
On Friday when the pick up appointment was made tell your customer what is going to happen and how much time it will take.  If my friend knew that she was being fit for her bike and what that process involves she could have been prepared with snacks, books, videos for her boys or she could have made arrangements to come without her children.
Missed opportunity #2:  Become the Babysitter
If a mother is coming in to get a bike and has children, get them involved.  Show them the bikes that fit their size.  Have them try it.  Touch it.  Talk about gears, breaks and make it fun for them.  Ask if they have helmets…if not, then get them trying helmets on!!  Show them the cool bells and mirrors they can put on their bikes.  WHY?  Two benefits.  Kids are always going to need bikes and helmets.  Mom gets to relax and actually hear what you are telling her about her new bike.  WIN WIN.
Missed opportunity #3:  Free Marketing
What did my friend do when she got home?  She got right on facebook to tell about her experience.  Now I didn’t study marketing in college but I am a woman and WE talk.  Not only to each other but virally on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.  The ironic thing that happened is another friend was buying a bike for his wife on Saturday.  Guess where he didn’t go?!  And did any of you see the google picture on Sunday to honor Mothers Day?  I did.  What more could the IBD’s of the world want but a picture of mom on her bike with her children!!
1.     FORECAST.  FORECAST.  FORECAST.  Tell me what is going to happen so I can plan.
2.     Become the Babysitter.  If I bring the kids in with me give me the gift of freedom so I can hear why you are adjusting my bike.
3.     Free Marketing.  No matter who is coming into your store they instantly become your free advertising.  It is up to you to keep your promises.
In this case “Over promise under deliver” is the perception now that a lot of people have of this well established IBD.  
For IBD’s Mothers Day is just one of those holiday’s you want to get right.  #1 you actually have women coming into your store.  #2 these women spend a combined  4.4 trillion dollars a year.  #3 Celebrate Us.  Have free babysitting while you shop, or even clinics for the kids.  Whatever fits your culture. 

Just my two cents…and what do I really know…I am just a mom who has a buck to spend.
About the author – Leslie Cunningham is a mom, active cyclist, runner and the Chief Connection Officer at The Mann Group. Leslie is a master of maintaining relationships. From her photography work with celebrities including John Mellencamp, Mikhail Gorbachev and Michael Andretti, to publishing a book that is empowering new mothers everywhere. Leslie knows people. 
For the past 20+ years she has perfected the art of connecting with people. Leslie has been a Human Resources Director for over 150 small business owners developing training, workers compensation and employee benefit programs. Leslie worked as a HR Executive during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2001. She also managed fundraising for the Ronald McDonald House raising over a quarter of a million dollars in one evening.  Leslie connects with people and walks along side of the them until they are living their life with ease and passion. “I sense where people are unhappy and connect them to solutions.”

If you’d like to learn how The Mann Group can improve the customer experience and top line sales in your store, please give us a call at 1-800-936-3049 or drop Leslie an email at .

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