26 Oct 2016

Are You Encouraging - Or Discouraging - Customers?

I want to share a trend with you that I have recently seen emerging because I can't for the life of me work out why small business owners are doing this.

Over recent times I have seen a marked increase in small business owners - in particular takeaway food outlets - adding a credit card fee to sales when customers pay using the old "fantastic plastic"!!!

I don't know about you, but this really "erks" me - I know that these same small business owners get hit with a merchant fee based on the amount of each sale, but when the business owners say "Are you ok with the 50 cent credit card fee?" it just seems so trivial in the overall cost of the meal.

Using my family as an example, an average cost for takeaway food for us is around the $30.00 to $40.00 mark so being asked to pay some trivial "credit card fee" seems to me to be a bit of a slap in the face when you take into account the total cost of the meal/s.

I was chatting to a business owner who is doing this to his clients (me being one of them) the other day and I suggested to him that instead of asking for a credit card surcharge, why didn't he just add 10 cents to the cost of everything on his menu.

As I pointed out to him, it is very rare that customers buy less than five "things" from his menu, so if he added 10 cents to the price of everything on his menu he would recoup the credit card fee and then some, because (often) people are buying more than five things at a time.

His reply astounded me - "I couldn't do that - my customers wouldn't be too happy about me putting everything up by 10 cents" to which I replied, "but they're happy having you ask them for an extra 50 cents every time they come in to buy something from you?"

I must have been speaking too fast because he just stood there looking at me with a blank stare, so I collected my order and walked out of his shop shaking me head!!!

This little incident got me thinking about how much we encourage - or discourage - customers to buy our products or services.

Have a think about the interactions you have with your customers and spend some time thinking about whether of not the process to buy from you is quick and easy, or are there a multitude of obstacles that your customers have to "climb over" before they can buy your "stuff"?

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