Okay guys, here’s the scoop on my Customer Appreciation Day ($3.99 Large Pizza):
Although the store looked great when I got there this morning with streamers across the parking lot, streamers and balloons in the interior; I noticed a stack of my $3.99 flyers sitting on one of the tables. It was pretty big stack too. I stayed cool and didn’t blow a gasket (though you have no idea how close I was), but was concerned with the lack of flyering that went on the prior week. My manager stepped up to the plate and took sole responsibility saying he delegated the job to key people but he didn’t follow up and ultimately it was his fault. I told him, “yeah… you’re right”. Then we talked for a little bit on how important it was to get this done on a timely basis and how now the ball was dropped.
Now knowing the day wasn’t going to be as big a hit as I’d anticipated I immediately got out front with the banner and started bannershaking (I had first shift). We were out there with the banner all day as that was now the only advertising we had for this promotion. Here are the results:
Total flyers distributed… about 400
Other forms of advertising… bannershaking
of C.A.D. orders generated… 77
new customers generated… 71
If anyone’s planning on doing a customer appreciation day please learn from my mistake:
Follow up on getting flyers distributed. It’s so basic a concept and this problem could’ve been avoided. The way I look at it, my manager didn’t drop the ball… I did. I should’ve been following up on him throughout the week.
Either way, I can say we gained 71 new customers so I can deem this a small win. It should’ve been more.
This is what I don’t understand about “Customer Appreciation Days”.
The implication is that this day is supposed to be in appreciation of your customers - current customer - that it should be about doing something special for the people who have (in the past) given you their business.
As your statistics show - only 6 of your current customers were “appreciated”.
Now, I could be wrong - and only time will tell - but I suspect that those other 71 people came only because it was cheap - and most of those people won’t be back when they have to pay normal prices. So while you “generated” 71 new customers for that specific special, I don’t think you really generated 71 new customers as in customers that will be spending $500+/year at your place.
Are you going to follow up and see how many of those new customers ordered again from you in the next 30, 60, 90 days - and see if they really became new customers or if they were just there because it was cheap?
Sounds more like you are “inferring” that message. The message I get is that the store is appreciating all customers who support their business, new and old. If one ignores the fact that the planned flyer campaign was pooched, then one can say that j_r0kk did something wierd to focus on or attract only new customers. Trust me, he has a comprehensive vision for this sort of thing: attract new customers to try out the store AND inspire existing customers to order extra time for the week/month. Generating goodwill and strngthening relationships is also on the marketing “menu”.
Only 6 existing customers took advantage of the promotion for many reasons. One of which is the failure oif management to execute the flyers leg of the plan. One of which is also that some number knew about it and just didn’t want to take advantage of it for some reason. We don’t know how many of those there are. Anything more is pretty mcuh conjecture at this point, and doesn’t get j_r0kk much more info to work with.
I think you are right, and it is an expected reality of this sort of program. The goal of all marketing programs and elements of those programs is to drive new people in to experience the business and to drive existing customers to increase spending. Time indeed will tell how many of those new people were impressed enough with the product, atmophere and service level to become regulars.
I can add another assurance that, from my experience with him, j_r0kk already has a plan in place to assess longer term success of the promotion. His POS will be able to give him “lazy customer” reports that he can review for new people . . . possibly by 1st order date or something like that. I believe he has posted elsewhere his general retention rate from doing this sort of promotion before (I could be remembering someone else, though).
Don’t get me wrong - I mean no personal attack on j_r0kk. I just never understood why these types of proomotions are called “customer appreciation”.
I used to do this sort of thing too - until I saw that most of the people coming in for the special were there just for the special - and never came back - until I had the special again.
I also wonder what effect having these types of specials have on the regular customers. I can’t help but feel that people don’t have a good feeling about paying 2-3 times more for a pizza today than they could have paid yesterday (or did pay yesterday). But hey, I realize there are many good arguments for and against this sort of stuff.
I personally would not be offended. However it might help to better explain the promotion to the customer.
“We realize were not going to make any money at all today, selling pizzas for $3.99 but we would just like to do this to say thank you and hope we cover our costs. We couldn’t have made it to where we are today without you.”
yeah whatever. Just a little bit more justification might make it go over better, if your worried about offending somebody.
I think I was responding to what I now understand is a skepticism of the general concept.
I’m with you that these promotions must be done well and have a productive message/direction to avoid confusion and bitterness. I think of it this way . . . I cannot help but feel that the people who buy pizza troday will be glad that they paid less than they would tomorrow or next week. A ‘bonus’. What’s more, I will actually ASK people instead of ‘feeling’ about it. Data will tell me actual effectiveness and perceptions while my guessing doesn’t.
Done poorly or without a plan, I agree with you that it can be a mess that can alientate customers or water down the potential market impact. I personally believe that doing two or three a year every year will get people anticipating the promotions and seeing that I am really committed to appreciating the markteplace.
Ultimately, though . . . . in a purely objective mindset . . . any promotion that brings new dollars into the door that have a chance of being retained as repeating dollars, and pays for itself at the least, is a good promotion. It can bring in repeat dollars or new customer dollars. Heck, I could turn some once every two months customers into monthly customer, get the attention of lazy/wayward customers, get the attention of a businessplace with nest of customers, or neighboring town people with this sort of promotion . . . . score. I might even get a newspaper write-up if it causes enough buzz (read “free advertising”).
Part of the plan HAS TO BE a retention element. Getting them into the shop is not enough if there isn’t close attention paid to how we plan on retaining that increased business level, whatever it is. Maybe it is a followup mailing to new customers (I got their infor during the promo visit) offering them an additional incentive to return one more time, or to lazy customers identified as having returned, or whatever.
All this is a longwinded agreement with you that this sort of promotion can backfire, or dud if not planned and executed well. Done well as part of the larger comnprehensive marketing plan, it can be a strong element that drives more exposure to the store.
About once or twice a year I send out $5 off postcards to our 800 best customers ( 100 or more lifetime orders or something like that). We get 50-60% redemption and a nice little jolt from it. Normally I’ll do that when I re-do/re-price our menus.
Thanks for the input and the opinions. I’d like to make a comment on the post Registered Guest made because he’s got a valid point and I’d like to explain my marketing tactic:
I call it “Customer Appreciation Day” to give the day a festive appeal. I knew going in that I’d be getting some of the bottom feeders that normally order from Ceasars but I was fine with that. The whole purpose for me to do a promotion like this was to introduce to consumers who would not normally try my pizza a great price point in which they can sample my product. Yes, it’s great to offer this discount to existing customers but that wasn’t really the focus of the promotion. Maybe… just maybe, the new people who came in on Saturday finally found out what good pizza is and will become regular customers from here on. Of the 71 new customers created I can figure (based on year to date returns) 40% will be retained.
The focus of my advertising is to create new customers… period. My goal is to increase marketshare. Each promotion I run is geared towards taking away from my competition… or at least sharing with them.
Guest wants to know if I’m doing this again. The answer is yes. Saturday was a warm-up period to create a little buzz in the town. Later this summer we’ll be doing the same promotion for an entire week. If we can get on the same page with flyer distribution and average the same 71 new customers per day and increase our sales the same $600 per day we’ll have the following results:
New customers created…497
% of customers that will re-order…40%
of customers that will re-order…199
Total additional sales generated…$4,200
One more little note about Saturday…
71 new customers were generated. 15 were generated via delivery sales. This translates to 21 database customers enjoying the promotion.
Where were all of your regular customers? Seems odd that only 6 of your regular customers saw the banner or flyers and responded to the offer.
I was thinking the same thing…I am assuming that they needed a coupon for the special price, otherwise you only got 7 regulars who ordered a large on Sat nite?
I tried a different approach to my customer appreciation nite…we did it on a FRI nite…I rented one of those $$ carnival wheels and had every customer spin the wheel for a chance at FREE order or $5 or $10 GIFT CARDS (min. $10 order to spin)…everyone was given a flyer and we left out a big tip jar…it was a huge sucess and oh yeah we happened to do this at the same time a new competitor had a “grand opening”…lets just say the town wasn’t talking about him
This to me, is what makes a great owner/operator. Someone that takes responsiblity for not only his actions, but the actions of the people that work for him as well. So many owner/operators I know would have just blamed it everything and everyone else.
Your level of sucess begins and ends with YOU.
It’s not too often I can say this so I will… BAD job j_r0kk. lol But I know damn well next time ALL flyers will be gone.
No, twenty-one regulars got the special, not seven. I do almost 70% delivery so that figure is in the ballpark.
As far as C.A.D. special, my manager asked me the same question. I responded, “Put yourself in the customer’s shoes: You order a pizza at regular price and see all this $3.99 junk everywhere. Wouldn’t you be a little pissed if nobody told you about it before you came in? Of course you offer the deal to anyone who says they want carryout.”
When’s the best time to hold a customer appreciation day? It is Saturday 11 till 4? Not sure, to answer my own question every market is different.
Obviously you want new customers to experience the best product and service so stretching your store during peak period say a Friday night might not achieve that objective.
$3.99 great deal? Is it profitable?
An important part of Customer Appreciation Days or discounting generally is to use the price point as a loss leader. That is your making nothing on the pizza but your upselling on sides is were you’re making the money.
A customer appreciation day should never take place without a very attractice and highly profitable sides deal associated with it.
Not sure about the product range available in all stores but offering a coke and wings deal with a $3.99 pizza would be a good way to go. Add on the sides with every order.
I would be more jumping all over the manager for how many single pizzas left the store.
Similarly stagger the deal $5.00 for one pizza $4.50 each for two or $3.99 for 3.
Keep an eye on the check average and the bottom line. These days are meant to be high volume, very high volume off low margins on the pizza but with a sides or upsell deal which brings the bacon home.
I agree with previous comments that on the 2nd or 3rd CAD customers are more educated to the concept and the pizzas fly out the door.
Do your customer appreciation day at a time thats right for your store.
Make sure you’ve got the upsell, addon, side deals happening with every order.
wuts up jrock?
Hope and sound like everything is well… How long did u advertise for this ? A week a few days I think Im about to do it this week for Saturday put it in the weekly news and give out about 1000 flyers. Or should I promote 2000 flyers in 2 weeks and wait till next Sat.?