Failure To Communicate Correctly Can Cost You Money

Last Sunday afternoon I popped in to Tesco to pick up a few essentials.

If you’ve met me then you’ll know I’m a friendly chap, so you won’t surprise that I got chatting to one of the staff members.

Turned out to be the store manager.

A bit of general chit chat led on to the store manager mentioning that she is now having to purchase an extra 200 shopping baskets per month, due to the rise in theft of them from her particular store in Birmingham.

I have to say I was a little surprised! I mean, who would want to steal a shopping basket? What would you do with it once you got home?

She explained that there’s always been a few go missing but in actual fact the massive rise in thefts has occurred since went on to add that since the laws changed and Tesco started charging 5 pence for a carrier bag.

She was a loss for what to do. The theft and loss rate of the baskets has gone through the roof and she has even considered adding security tags to her baskets, but that’s quite a cost!

I was pondering who might be inclined to steal a basket and what we could do to prevent it happening, when she mentioned in passing that it wasn’t so much the cost of the baskets that bothered her, but the fact that the charity would be missing out on so much cash.

Now hold up a minute, I’m getting confused. Who said anything about a charity? How are they losing out by Tesco having their baskets stolen?

Well it turns out that the 5p Tesco charges for the carrier bag is actually donated to charity!

I had no idea.

I’m a regular Tesco shopper, I dutifully buy my bags (and then store them inside another bag, hung up in the cupboard under the stairs, with every intention of using them the next time I visit the store). But I didn’t know my money was going to charity.

I wonder how many other customers don’t know that as well?

If they did, they would probably feel a bit better about the 5p they are now forced to pay for their plastic bags. They’d feel happy about giving to charity and be much less likely to “accidentally” wander out of the store with a shopping basket.

So what’s this got to do with you?

Well, when was the last time you checked that your message is really coming across to your customers? When did you last pick up the phone, call a prospect and just chat to them to find out what they know about you and to see what your marketing is missing?

If a huge Multi-National with marketing teams, experts and consultants can fail to communicate with their customers about something important, it’s pretty likely you might be too.