Sound Marketing: Find What Annoys Your Customers and Fix It

I may be one of the few males in the country who actually enjoys shopping for stuff … even groceries. But the one thing that gets on my nerves at the supermarket is waiting … and waiting … and waiting in line at the deli counter.

Tonight, I walk into Harris Teeter, a supermarket in Reston, Virginia, and what is the first thing I see?

To my left, a kiosk where I can place my deli order by touchscreen (the interface is remarkably easy to use). Complete, it zaps over the deli counter where they begin work while I shop.

After I’ve gathered my other stuff, I pop over the the counter where my order is waiting for me.


Pure heaven.

There is a restaurant near me whose food I really love.

My wife and I get take out at least once a day, usually for dinner. I’d order from this restaurant almost every night, except for one big problem. Instead of bringing your order to you when you walk in, they force you to wade through people 3-deep at the smoky bar to pay for and pick up your food. It’s a hassle I don’t want…

…so, a few hundred bucks goes to the restaurant another block down who has my order ready for me at the door, instead. (A restaurant we don’t like nearly as much.)

Why more businesses don’t take the time to find out what annoys and inconveniences their customers stuns me.

Companies looking for a sound marketing plan for the New Year need look no further … make the list, then correct every annoyance … one per week.

Even the simplest little change can convert a disloyal buyer into a raving fan … even double the value of a customer or client.

Is the appeal of doing the same thing everyone else does … of not rocking the boat ineffective peers and “me-too” industry gurus prop up … so bad that small businesses don’t see that?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous January 5, 2005 at 2:01 am

Good stuff!  Sometimes, as a business grows, managers start to lose sight of the basics.


2 Anonymous January 5, 2005 at 7:01 am

Good stuff!  Sometimes, as a business grows, managers start to lose sight of the basics.


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