I just came back from a local presentation from a professional advertising club here in town which I wasn’t impressed with, BUT the speaker did say one quote that stuck with me:
“If you want people to be thinking about you, you need to be thinking about them.”
What does that mean?
It’s pretty simple actually. It’s not rocket science. But in a world that new business is dominated by referrals; I feel like not enough people think about it.
Why the heck should people care about you, if you don’t care about them? Whatever your business is, whatever your service is, chances are customers can get it somewhere else. You want a burger? Well there’s Wendy’s McDonald’s, Burger King, Five Guys and any local joint. You want a cell service? There’s AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and others popping up all the time.
What raises businesses above the crowd? Above the noise?
Two things: personality and customer service. Those are the two things that will separate you, no matter what. And the awesome thing is nowadays your social media efforts can be huge in helping you with both areas of focus.
While people still value keeping their interactions professional and respectful, they don’t think less of you if you don’t wear a suit or even if you don’t use the utmost correct vernacular. They want to see you. They want to get to know you.
One company who does this amazingly well is Chick-fil-A. While this company is in the paper for having some controversial politics, they are still successful. They are even closed on Sundays!! What is this? The 50’s? Who’s closed on a Sunday? Chick-fil-A is. Have you ever said “thank you” at a Chick-fil-A? Of course you have. You know what you’ll hear from the worker? “My pleasure.” Not “you’re welcome,” “no problem” or my personal favorite, “mhmm.” Instead, you’ll hear “My pleasure.” Something so small can have such a memorable impact. Chick-fil-A also does an amazing job with their community relations. They are always having community events in there. Fundraising. Sponsorships. Even fun customer appreciation days where customers can get free food for dressing up like a cow!
Another company known for how it treats its customers is Zappos. Zappos was started as an online shoe store and has grown into something huge. They realize that if customer has ordered something, they clearly want it, so packages are pretty much delivered close to next day or two for no cost. They have a 365-day return policy and when you call them, they treat you like a best friend. There are countless case studies on Zappos that discuss how after a few weeks in of training, they offer the new hire money to leave. Why? Because if the new hire stays, he or she wants to be there. And what kind of difference does that make for the customer? Everything! The people working with you WANT to work with you. They WANT to make your day better.
How can social media play a factor? Easy. Listen and then wait for it…answer. More and more, customers are reaching out and interacting with brands on social mediums. With platforms that allow brands to engage with customers, there is no reason why not too. By using photos and clever posts, a company can invite customers into the creative intellect of the brand and not just a transaction. The worse thing to do though is to have social media accounts and ignore your fans/followers. If you are going to not do anything and ignore people, don’t bother. No one likes the guy at the party who ignores everyone right? They like the guy talking to everyone, cracking jokes, fixing problems, so be that guy.
While more and more people have their eyes glued to a screen and are busier than ever, it’s important to remember that people have options. More options than ever actually. So when someone wants a burger, or a cell phone provider they can go to a number of places. Remember. What makes companies successful are the companies who care about their customer. The companies who show personality and think of their customer. There’s more to marketing than simply selling; it’s building relationships.