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Adjusting Your Shop to Cater to Modern Customers

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As I have seen my customer base get younger, I have also changed my customer lounge area. We now have a flat screen television, wireless Internet, bottled water and what I call the coffee and espresso department. I do not use Twitter, but we use our website and Facebook for marketing, along with texting our customers. What else can we do to help ourselves into the 21st century?

It sounds like you’ve already identified many things the younger generation demands from companies they want to do business with. A few other things to keep in mind: In the past our business cards used flamboyant colors or became small billboards about our business. Today, they need to be functional with the most concise contact information on them. Many young professionals use Quick Response (QR) codes, which are matrix barcodes added to business cards and other media, to retrieve contact information and synchronize their contact lists.

Although many shop owners are prepared themselves, they often forget about their front line people, like customer service representatives. It would be good to have a medium available to everyone to accomplish the information transfer. Digital signature acceptance, paperless offices and digital filing are also important to this younger clientele, but so too is data security. I recommend that you check with the data privacy laws in your state.

As we begin this transformation to additional technological advances, make sure your company follows through. One cautionary note: If you do not own your management system, database or other software, check with your provider about what happens to this information when your contract is over. Familiarize yourself with security policies, and find out whether the information simply gets deleted when your contract expires. You might be surprised with the answer.

Ray Fisher is the president of ASA-Michigan. This article represents his opinion and does not reflect the views of ASA-Michigan.

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