Here are four tips, each on a different topic. Ready! Get set! Go!
1. Knowledge is Power
Courtesy of Thom Singer´s blog, “The Business Development/Networking Blog,” I read a post by JD Moore, Thom´s guest blogger. From there I checked out JD´s blog and this post about data is right on target for small businesses. 2. They Don´t Call It Voice Mail Paradise, Do They?
How do you, as a customer, feel about voice mail (aka Interactive Voice Response or IVR)? Your competitors may be bigger than you, but you can use your smallness to advantage. If you must use an IVR, make sure your customers can reach a human within a keystroke or two. I personally am advocating for an amendment to the US constitution that says people should only have to hit three keys before they reach a human! Courtesy of Church Of The Customer, here´s a link to a list giving information on how to access a human being by bypassing the voice mail menu. If someone´s willing to put that much effort into preparing this list, you can bet that plenty of people HATE voice mail.
3. Catch Your Employees"?¦
No, not for that reason! If you´re reading this at work, take a minute and think of something that one of your employees does well. Make a point to walk over to that person when they´re standing in a group and compliment them on their strength. Be specific. "Nice job, George!" won´t cut it. "George, I really like the way you handled that complaint. You apologized even though it wasn´t your fault. You listened to understand, not to argue, you used tact, you found the solution. Then you gave them something a little more. If it hadn´t been for you, we would have lost an important customer. I really appreciate that."
Now, every day, catch at least one of your employees doing something right and compliment that person on one of his or her strengths. Whenever possible, do this in public. When your employees´ morale goes up, so does their willingness to go the extra mile for you and your customers. That translates into more sales, which means the real benefit is more income for your business. Need more proof? Read William Cusick’s post at Vox
4. Seasons Greetings Cards Are Also Affected By The Law Of Diminishing Returns
Thom Singer makes some great points here about seasons greeting cards sent to your customers. But I would make one "upgrade" to his suggestion about seasons greetings cards. Don´t wait until December; make them Thanksgiving cards that say, "thanks for your business" and mail them out in mid-November. This means your cards will be among the first to arrive and will get more OAAPE (oooo´s and ahhh´s per envelope) that the ones who arrive in mid-December. You remember, you spend more time on the first few cards you receive, later as they start coming in rapid fire, you rip them open, read them, then set them aside. I know I should have suggested this a month ago, but for you truly small businesses, you can take my suggestion and Thom´s about a handwritten note, as well.