This is not a political blog. For the last 8 years or so that I have been blogging I have done my best to stay away from being political, at least on this forum. But today, I have to ask a question.
I’m just wondering. What the heck happened to us?
Racial injustice has finally reached a point where words need to be backed up with actions. Mississippi is getting rid of the state flag. Big companies are boycotting Facebook. Statues of past Presidents are getting defaced. The new/old Corona-19 virus outbreak in the US is worse than in any other rich country. Numbers in some states are going up and bars in these states are, once again, being forced to close. And the Russians have (or have not) paid the Taliban to kill US Soldiers? Finger pointing is now a national sport.
In my own world, I watch as people go about their business pretty much obeying the indoor public spaces masking rule, the social distancing rule and the stay at home rule, except for those folks who go to the parks and beaches. In some states bowling center customers have to wear masks. Bowling centers in our state are open, yet business is “verrrry” slow. Shopping malls have now opened, yet I don’t know anyone who has ventured forth.
On Sunday I went to the local park for a leisurely stroll. Not a lot of masks on people; bikers moving fast with no masks on, and lots of folks having picnics and grilling. Under normal circumstances, it was a typical summer day, but it wasn’t really. There was something off and I know I wasn’t the only one who felt it.
Maybe it was a bit of fear. I heard a couple talking and I got just a snippet of their conversation as I heard the woman say, “…yeah it’s like your money or your life” which brought me sharply back to reality with a shiver of fear of what this virus can do and has done to some of my friends and their families.
Within this environment, my clients ask me some very specific questions as it relates to their center, but in general, they are asking me what master strategy they need to develop before examining pricing, service, operations and product tactics.
My response, while more specific then the following, is indicative of what we explain, what are our controllables; how can we control the communications to OUR “market influencers” to bring in other customers?
Market influencers are those folks who influence people to come to your place of business or buy your product. People who give you testimonials, maybe the local City Councilman or PTA Mom can be a Market Influencer. Have you tapped them?
“Do the right thing as consistently as possible is all that we can do. Stay in front of this. Stay in front of your customer and prospect. Don’t confuse them with too many programs and price points. And don’t raise prices too high. Remember there are still 20 million people unemployed (1 out of 7 American workers. Yikes)! Go back to basics.
Use hourly pricing so you can control the sanitation process. Even those customers, who refused hourly pricing before, will now understand what you are trying to do. Take reservations. Be consistent. Be extra clean, safe and sanitized and demonstrate it. Check your bathrooms every 15 minutes!! And finally, give the market influencers an incentive to come back…with their friends and family.
My question to you is, “Have you identified who are your “market influencers” (besides league bowlers) and how to reach them efficiently?”
I would imagine that we are all wondering about the “new normal” and how frequently we now say, during the course of a day, “Un*&^%$#@believable.”
Just don’t wonder about your resolve to survive these “strange days indeed.”
Because it will get better.