Transparency, it’s one of those words that conjures up many meanings – but how many of you can honestly say that your organisation is transparent? Do you say one thing, but then do another so what the customer actually experiences is different?!
Well, this is why Gap 4 exists: Gap 4 is the ‘difference between the service delivered to customers and the promise of the firm to customers about its service quality’. And of course it’s a key cause as to why customer frustrations arise.
When promoting your organisation, the simple rule to follow is to BE HONEST! Although you may find that bending the truth results in more customers initially – you will find that this will only be a short term result. Customers will not go back to you if they feel what you said and what you do are two different things.
So for instance, if your organisation doesn’t have the lowest prices in town, don’t say you do because you will be caught out – instead focus on what you do best, maybe you offer the best personal service in your local shopping area, or you have the most up-to-date stock. Whatever it is, promote it because you can prove those things.
A perfect example of what not to do, is Harris Scarfe – Harris Scarfe is a discount retail store in Australia, they pride themselves on offering good discounts, but every time I have been there one of the following occurs:
1. An item that is on special, scans at full price. You then have to wait for them to check the price and to make sure you are not lying, 15 minutes of your life then goes by while you wait for them.
2. The items that are not on special are placed on the rack with the special items, you therefore pick it up, thinking it’s also on special. You then spend 15 minutes arguing about the scanning policy.
Harris Scarfe’s strategy seems to be that they try to lure you in with bargains, only to find out that the majority of stock isn’t on special. Their store layout is also confusing, which means you need to walk through the whole store before you find what you want – similar to the Gruen effect experienced when you visit large shopping malls.
My strategy to Harris Scarfe – is that I avoid it at all costs!
Until next week,
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.