For several years, I have done work for a talent agency that provides live event, trade show staffing, field marketing & more. These live events are usually in large box stores where I get to demonstrate various products—the real reason I do these events are because I get to talk with customers and employees and get paid.
This past Sunday I worked demonstrating cell phone plans. I would say 4 out of 10 customers were looking for cell phones for their 5 and six year olds. When I asked why, I was told it was a way to keep in touch with their child in case something happened in their school. When I went to school it was a place to get away from your parents and hang out with friends; now it’s considered unsafe. Consumers don’t often share their real concerns with salespeople, but these concerns come straight from the heart. This is a rare glimpse into what is foremost on the consumers’ mind, and it comes straight from their heart. Usually, what is motivating a buying consumer is not so obvious; it reminds me of what happened after 9/11. While the Flagg Code may not be enforceable by law, many citizens think wearing the stars and stripes is offensive. After 9/11 companies couldn’t make enough flags; flags were everywhere and clothing with flags and flag designs was all over. It was one way to show our patriotism.
It would appear that as a nation, many people are being motivated by fear. They are fearful for themselves and their kids. I must admit I would be fearful if I were sending children every day to school. I would speculate that this fear translates into other areas where kids congregate. Does this also carry over to movie theaters, churches and retail stores?
Are we as a nation motivated by fear? I took a self-defense course and am more cautious in place where there are lots of people.
Whenever possible, explain to your customers what you are doing to secure their safety.
- I suggest you focus on services that make consumers feel safe. If you are delivering a service to a consumer’s home, your delivery people should have several items of identification, i.e. a uniform and a picture id. In addition, warrantees on your products that protect the customer and provide repair services.
- Is your parking lot clear of trees and other obstructions? Is it clearly lit with security cameras? You might consider having your employees walking your customers to their cars.
- 24-hour security cameras aren’t let expensive and should be around the perimeter of your building and in your warehouse. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 11 percent of property crimes occur in parking lots or garages, and over 7 percent of violent crimes occur there.
- Chip card security is the latest standard in credit card security. This standard (called EMV®,) includes a small microchip in the credit card that protects buyers against fraudulent transactions. These cards are really hard to clone. Chip readers have been used in Europe for 10 years.
- My friend handles networking for a large community agency. He does training weekly and tells everyone to never download certain messages. Once a month he sends out a ‘trial balloon’,’ and he says at least ¼ of the employees download it! He has them change passwords monthly. I have a company that I do business with that has you change your account password every six months even if you don’t use the site! What a pain that is.
- Take steps to protect their customers’ credit card numbers, addresses, and other sensitive details at your web site. You may want to develop your own security package in addition to one that you purchase.
This is a time of uncertainty, do whatever it takes to make your customers feel secure.
Need strategic planning for your business? Reach Lisbeth at 518-495-5380 or email her at [email protected]
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