Small businesses usually need to watch every penny. But nearly all pay for some form of advertising, even if it is only a Yellow Pages ad or the name of the business painted on the side of a truck or van. If I could show you a way to get more exposure for your company, would you be interested?Recognized that "sales talk" didn´t you? (smile) Like a lot of "solutions" the answer is simple, the implementation of that answer is more difficult. Since I´m not paid by the word, let´s get right to it.
The answer is "Exceed your customers´ needs." They come in expecting one level of customer service, you go above and beyond the call of duty delivering what Sam Walton called "legendary customer service." T. Scott Gross calls it "Positively Outrageous Service".
In their book, "Customer Relationship Management" Kristin Anderson and Carol Kerr talk about three categories of customers. First, those customers who do business with you once, then go away. The second category consists of repeat customers. The third, and highest category, the one you should aspire to reach is that of customer advocate. Those customers who are so well satisfied that they go out of their way to refer others to you. Realtors and insurance agents live and die by sales referrals. Referrals are just another method of advertising, whether you call it “word-of-mouth advertising” or “viral marketing”.
No, it´s not really free. You have to put a lot of effort, including money, into exceeding your customers´ expectations. But you should get a very good return on investment.
Haven´t you experienced this when you were a customer? You were wowed by the service you received and you mentioned it to your friends and co-workers. Now you´re the business owner/manager. What can you do to surprise your customers?
Are you stumped? Pull together (some of) your employees. Ask them. While you´re at it ask them to identify the most common concerns your customers express when they fail to buy. (If two heads are better than one, then aren´t six or seven experienced employees brainstorming better than just one or two?)
Then attempt to create some strategies to address those concerns. Get buy-in from your staff, then train them. Try it. If it doesn´t work, adapt it, then try again.
The other benefit to offering this level of customer service is that it´s more fun for your employees. Yes, it may be more work for them as well. But again, it´s that "ROI" thing. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Try it. I dare you!
Check it out. You could save someone’s life. As someone who has given more than 40 pints of blood, let me just say it’s very worthwhile. Plus, you get free cookies and other snacks when you’re done:-)
“Think! Think! Think!
–Winnie The Pooh