I returned from the OFA Shortcourse in Columbus, Ohio with my ears ringing. So much buzz!
Of course, many conversations centered around trends and how to meet the wants, desires and demands of customers. So, here's the question for you...are you giving your customers what they want? AND...how do you know if you are or not?
With new branding efforts from big names such as House and Garden TV, Proven Winners and Hort Couture, your customers will be subjected to increased advertising with specific plant and variety names. Have you started hearing requests for specific plants from your customers? Do you have want they want? And how would you know what they'll be asking for?
All good questions. First, do you know if you are providing what they want?
I strongly suggest the KISS principle. This is "keep it simple, silly." How about a short and sweet survey for your customers? Just a few key questions are all you need. Here's a sample suggestion:
We want to provide you with the items, plants and services you want. Please take a few moments to give us your thoughts...and take a (small plant) for your time. Thank you!
- Did you have a specific plant in mind when you came to the store?
- What was it?
- Did you find it?
- If not, did you find a substitute?
- Where do you usually hear about the plants you want? What magazine, TV show, etc?
- What can we do to provide a better shopping experience for you?
When they complete the survey, give them something for their time and consideration. A small herb plant or annual or perhaps a discount coupon. Most people like giving their opinion. This is a two-way win...you find out where they hear of the plants so you can be prepared when they come in, they'll be happy you have what they want...and, do I hear a cha-ching?