Can a smile help you grow your business?
Pam from The Office
There’s an important aspect of marketing that often gets overlooked. The tendency is to think about marketing as advertising or branding, but marketing is also all about the little things.
Marketing is every interaction that you (and your employees) have with your customers and prospective customers. Are they greeted with a friendly smile? Do they hear a somewhat formal “How can I help you today?” or an informal “What do you need?”. It’s those details, the little touches, that create what your business is all about, that create the ‘wow’ moments people will talk about.
Do you look at your marketing as all of the little things that make a difference (and add credibility and power to any advertising you do)? Do you start thinking of the small touches your clients would appreciate that are unusual in your industry?. Maybe it’s time to upgrade your marketing – start with a smile…and here are some other ideas that might get you started:
Have a real person answer the phone in a friendly, professional manner. You don’t need to go over the top, but have a script that conveys the impression you want to leave in a consistent way. The script is especially important if you have different people answering the phone.
If you have people coming in person to see you, then the person out front should be pleasant, smiling and happy to see them. They should be professionally dressed and proactive in finding ways to help. Remember – you’ll have to hire someone who enjoys people, that’s not something you can train!
Make sure the client gets answers to whatever question they may have in a timely fashion. With all of the technology available, it’s tempting to use a machine and voicemail system, but a real person answering in a helpful way will really stand out in most industries.
If someone does leave a message, make it a priority and a policy to make sure they’re called back in a timely fashion. You should never have a situation where someone left a message and didn’t receive a response. If a client has a question, respond the same day…even if the answer will take some time, respond quickly to let them know you’re working on it.
Make it a point to have everyone on your team under promise and over deliver. Set expectations with clients ahead of time and then make sure that you consistently beat those expectations. This is how great reputations are built!
Take an existing clients to lunch or out to coffee every so often. See if there’s anything they need – more than likely they’ll be fine, but it generates great karma and may lead to extra work or a referral.
Play the role of connector – could one of your clients benefit someone else that you know? Could you make a great introduction between people that you know who don’t know each other? It may not directly benefit you, but you can bet that a great referral or introduction will move you way up the ladder of trusted business partners.
Train your entire team on giving exceptional customer service and making it a great experience to work with you. This isn’t a job just for the sales team or just the front office folks, everyone needs to understand how important it is.
Can a smile and great attention to detail drive lots of leads and new business to you? Think about a business that you enjoy buying from – maybe a great restaurant with the waiters who consistently remember you, or the dentist with the ultra-professional and friendly staff. The chances are if you enjoy your experience at those places, you’ll go back…and you’ll likely tell others about it as well! That sounds like great marketing to me!
What’s a little thing you could do to create a great customer experience in your business? What examples have you seen from other businesses? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach