Retail is a tough market. Competing with big box retailers on price is a losing proposition. Smaller retailers and service providers need to provide superior customer service and a better overall customer experience to compete. An argument could be made that there needs to be a PSA for what the definition of a “bargain” actually is. (Oh wait, we already did that!) If you’re thinking of different tactics to get more revenue, home service may be a way to go.
There are as many ways to employ this tactic as there are businesses. We offer a couple ideas and an enterprising business owner will come up with others or variations of ours. Selling online doesn’t necessarily give you an edge and managing your online marketplace can be a hassle. There’s no sense fighting uphill battles you don’t need to. As a small business you’re not going to beat the big boys at their game, so give yourself every advantage.
Home delivered products or services can be a boon to those who have trouble getting to your store on their own, if at all. Online retailers dominate this market segment for the most part. However, the delivery driver can’t provide customer service for the products that were ordered, so customers have to sit on the phone and deal with a hassle if there is a problem with their order. Also, if it’s difficult to make your store more accessible, this tactic could be a game changer. If you’re concerned with expense, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. Consider making your offering for limited times or minimum orders and in a limited area. Delivery fees are becoming more common, so charge a fee if you need to.
For example, if you’re a grocer, allow customers to make online or telephone orders for delivery in the morning or evening. Minimize your expenses by compiling orders, grouping them, and then laying out an efficient route. If there is a problem with an order, allow the driver to address it and, when necessary, have a replacement item sent out the next day. For the disabled and the elderly, this could be an invaluable service.
Very few doctors make house calls anymore, but what if more did? Getting to the doctor as an elderly or disabled person can be tough. When you’re sick or have other issues, it can be brutal to nearly impossible. As a visiting physician, you could attend to routine issues, write prescriptions, etcetera without the overhead of an office. Partner with a pharmacy that delivers and you’re indispensable.
Will this work for your business? Examine your business model, do a cost/benefit analysis, and think about it. All in all, potential benefits to customers are awesome. The additional benefits to your business’s bottom line as well as the goodwill you can generate are pretty cool too.