I have spoken to a few retailers in the last couple of weeks and many of them have said that business is quiet. Obviously, this is somewhat expected – retail is traditionally slow in January as families recover financially from Christmas and invest in getting the kids back to school. However, many retailers feel that it’s slower than usual.
One possible reason that comes to mind is the extended Christmas break we all seem to enjoy these days. It’s not unusual for businesses to close for 2 whole weeks over the Christmas/New Year break. Now I’m not begrudging the break – our office closed for the same period of time this year and we all had a lovely time with friends and family! However, when most of the community is on holidays for a longer period of time, and we will generally spend more when we are on holidays, then we will be less inclined to spend once we are back at work in January, and that has a flow on effect on our local retailers. So spare a thought for the retail businesses in town who are working hard to earn your support and buy local!
On the flipside, I’ve heard stories of Gladstone customers being forced to seek quotes from out of town businesses (in Rockhampton and Bundaberg) simply because of the difficulties they have experienced with getting local suppliers to quote on the work. In one case, the supplier assessed the work, but 6 weeks later, they still haven’t quoted. Another supplier made an appointment to assess the work, and just didn’t show up (no phone call no explanation). Others are seemingly just not interested enough to do an assessment. However, a Bundaberg supplier worked with the customer remotely via measurements and photos and sent through their quote the same day. I guess they want the $4,000 worth of work!!!
As business owners we need to be constantly looking for opportunities and providing the best possible customer experience. Consumers do have a choice, and even the most die-hard “buy local” loyal customer will shop elsewhere if they cannot find the product, or feel that their business is not important and valued.
How can you lift your customer experience from that first point of contact right through until the transaction is complete? What can you do differently to attract business and wow your customer or potential customer? Is your team well trained and committed to customer service too?
If you need advice or assistance to build your business and increase the return on your investment, call the professional team at UHY Haines Norton today on 49721300.