Michele Miller of "Wonder Branding" blog fame: writes this excellent article about the idiocy of making assumptions.
"I've done everything possible to create good relationships with my female clients," a doctor announced to me during a recent seminar, with just a hint of smugness. "I've decorated my office with soothing colors and have a fountain in the waiting room to ease any nervousness. There are a variety of magazines on the coffee table that appeal to different personalities... I even have a cappucino corner where patients can make themselves a beverage. I've covered all the bases - there's nothing left."
I let his statement hang like Air Jordan for a few ticks of the clock, then asked him,
"How long do your patients have to wait in the waiting room before they're escorted in to see you?"
It was like hitting him with a two-by-four. One of the most important aspects of the patient experience, yet he was so far inside the bottle he couldn't see it. How much simpler it would have been to focus on the biggest complaint that most patients have these days - interminable waits without explanation - instead of interior decorating or refreshments.
When approaching the topic of marketing to women, stop thinking feminine. Instead, focus on the logical:
1. Use that bad rap to your advantage. Nearly every business category or industry suffers from some kind of stigma. What is the biggest complaint about your colleagues? Find it, then fix it. There's a reason for all of those lawyer jokes - wouldn't it be refreshing to find an attorney who gives it to you straight and treats you with respect? Many companies have customer service departments - do you really have to be put on hold for more than 30 minutes?
2. Put up or shut up. Sometimes, boasting about what you do for female consumers is meaningless if you're not focused on what the customer wants or needs. It's like Mike Vrabel doing a victory dance in the end zone without actually making a touchdown. Sure, Best Buy is testing female-oriented and concept stores but what if, as Peter says, there are 35 people standing in line with only two flustered clerks at checkout? Sorry fellas... saving time beats nice carpeting any day.
3. You don't have to be a mind reader. Your loyal customers are there for a reason, and it isn't just to give you their hard-earned money. There's a reason they do business with you... and they'll like you even more if you ask their opinion. No business is perfect; there's always room for improvement. Brain configuration and heightened sensory awareness help women notice the finest of details - their suggestion of a subtle change in the way you do business can mean the difference between ordinary profit and miraculous growth.
Get your head out... of the bottle. What is one thing you can do, today, to enhance the customer experience and get people talking?