No New Year's resolutions here. I find resolutions much like the fortunes one gets in fortune cookies - fun in their intent, but not worth the paper they're printed on.
So, instead of New Year's resolutions, I thought I'd offer
10 9 QuestionsTo Ask Your Women Customers ... and share the most important two words you can utter...
1. If you could change ONE thing about our store or website, what would it be? Ah, the answers you'll get to that could change the way you do business in 2008. For the better.
2. Is there anything I can help you with? That's old school, I know. But, it's a polite gesture that still works. Women don't have any problem saying, "No, thanks." They actually prefer the option. Just don't overdo it.
3. Is this your first visit to our store/website? If it is, you have an opportunity to begin your relationship. If it isn't, you have an opportunity to take the relationsip to the next level (offering help, offering coupons, introducting loyalty programs...)
4. Would you care to sign up for our newsletter, in order to receive sales' announcements and store specials? If you don't have a newsletter, get one. Or start a blog. Find a way to connect to your women customers on a weekly basis...unless...see Question 5.
5. How often would you like to be contacted with news from us? Some women like a weekly update, others want a monthly. Few women want a daily. I receive daily updates from several online merchants and I delete them all. Those who send me weekly or monthly updates get my attention. But, that's me. Ask the question or you'll never know.
6. What other kinds of products would you like to see us carry? Sometimes we ladies go shopping for a particular item expecting to find it at our favorite store - only to be disappointed. If you take the time to ask our advice and opinion, we'll tell you what you could be doing to guarantee our repeat business.
7. What brought you in today? Online you probably have stats, webmasters who check where visitors arrived from and where they go when they leave, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Create a little section on your most important pages to ask this question - and have it keyed in to search terms so you can easily direct your women customers to the section they are looking for.
8. Are you shopping for a gift? Even if she isn't, she'll be pleased you asked. Chances are someone she knows is in need of a gift...for a birthday, or anniversary, or religious holiday. Make suggestions. Look at how well that works for Amazon.
9. Are you finding everything okay? If she answers no, you're in big trouble. Finding everything means having intuitive navigation. It means she doesn't have to click her mouse a dozen times to get where she wants to be. It means you have taken the time to create a website that offers her the products or services she expects to see on your site and that you consulted with women on the ease of finding those products or services.
10. And the phrase that carries the most punch is: Thank you. No, really...thank you. Each and every time we come to your store or website, you should say thank you. It's all well and good to have it printed on a receipt, or plastered over the Exit, but... how often do you and your employees say it Out Loud? "Thank you for stopping by, Mrs. Cleaver." Whether Mrs. Cleaver bought something or not. A sincere thank you goes a long way.
Thank you for stopping by today. Come back again, soon!