The Lights Are On…

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In the last few days I’ve seen a few examples where companies seemed to think that their customers are not the sharpest tools in the box, or as I once heard this described – “The gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming!”

This all started on Sunday evening when I caught a few minutes of Dancing On Ice. If you’ve never seen this show – basically it’s a bunch of celebrities (and ‘Comedy’ Dave) trying not to fall over in front of ten million people. It’s a peculiar world where Torville and Dean talk but don’t skate, Phillip Schofield is the authority on the ‘Death Spiral’, and Vanilla Ice is referred to simply as ‘Robert’.

After each dance you get to text, phone or email to vote for which performance you enjoyed the most, with the loser booted off at the end of the show.  And it’s the ‘end of the show’ bit that’s important here, as under the list of numbers and suchlike on the caption for each performance, reads this beauty: DO NOT VOTE IF YOU’RE WATCHING ON ITV+1 OR CATCH-UP TV.

So in simple terms, don’t vote towards something that happens at the end of this live show, if the show has already finished. It’s like putting on the ‘Best of X Factor’ DVD and thinking ‘I can get Wagner to win this time, I’m sure I can!’

Among other things I have found are a bottle of Paraffin Emolient for helping babies with dry skin, with ‘Do Not Drink’ written on the label in small print. So if you’re short-sighted, in the bath and thirsty, you may be in trouble here.

And lastly, I brought a packet of nuts that said on the back ‘Warning: May Contain Nuts’.

No – DOES contain nuts, ‘may’ should never come into the equation, mainly because it’s a packet of nuts! I would be majorly disappointed if it DIDN’T contain nuts – I wanted nuts!

Most of these warnings are just back-covering overkill, and while it’s a mistake to think that your customers need every little detail explaining to them, there is no harm at all in reminding them regularly that you’re there.  More than ever, businesses need to engage with their customers and clients and be at the forefront of their minds when they are thinking of pressing the ‘buy’ button. Email updates and newsletters are still relevant, and businesses are increasingly turning to Social Media to establish themselves in the places that their customers are most likely to be looking.

Of course bringing in the new stuff is important, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that’s the hard work done – I reckon it’s at that point that the hard work begins.

Imagine your customer is standing in the dark, shining a torch, looking to make a purchase – would you rather be caught in the beam or staring at your competitors? Lead the way – leave your competitors envious of how are you are retaining your customer base.

Are you engaging properly with your existing clients? Let me know in the comment box below or drop me a line at , I’d love to hear your opinion.

PS – If you are reading this blog on Tuesday – please do not comment. Your comment will not count and you may still be charged 🙂

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