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Bailout Your Customers

February 5, 2009

Laguna Grills

Today we celebrate the Laguna Grills of Woodbury and Westbury, New York.  Go to a Laguna Grill at lunch time and you stand a reasonable chance of having your entire table “bailed out” of its tab.  The restaurant selects one table every day at random for the honor.

What a brilliant promotion.  One, it will draw customers–

  1. You might be the lucky winner and not have to pay!
  2. You want to support a merchant who appears courageous enough to sacrifice in tough times.
  3. The word-of-mouth buzz would be as pervasive as a million dollar ad campaign.

Two, it tells the world Laguna Grill is paying attention.  Yeah, they gotta make a buck, but it’s not any easier for them than it is for the rest of us under the circumstances and we need to pitch in…together.  We all have to give a little.

So what is your business doing to bail out your customers?  Try this.

  • Forgive a little interest.
  • Throw in a couple tickets.
  • Makes the soft drinks free.
  • Don’t charge for the testing.
  • Waive the set up and transfer fees–or maybe the shipping charge.word of mouth marketing book cover
  • Get rid of the phone tree and let a friendly human answer the phone.
  • Give a little something for just stopping in.
  • Bring back the old “baker’s dozen” (you remember-13 for the price of 12).

Give up a couple points of margin to spread the goodwill most of us need right now.

[My thanks to Andy Sernovitz’s (author of “Word of Mouth Marketing“) blog–Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! for noticing Laguna Grill and appreciating the bailout.]

© David P. Leach and Consequential Value, 2009

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