Being in business is a continual challenge to keep learning and growing while generating revenue. Even with doing most everything right, plateaus are reached and it becomes a renewed challenge to move forward. What are the secrets of the once smaller companies that grew big and became a recognized entity?
Keep these tips in mind as you read my personal story below:
1. Develop company policy and document it in its entirety
2. Train staff members as they come on board
3. Frequently check that everyone is on the same page delivering the same message and behaving consistently
4. Make customer service your #1 priority
5. Pay attention to details
6. Act swiftly to correct missteps
7. Thank your customers repeatedly
8. Notify clients of promotions and/or new services
9. Remain in touch
10. Ask for feedback
The realization hit this weekend of the importance of first developing your personal brand as you build business. Setting the scene, I was at a bridal wedding shower. It was going well until the bride began to open her gifts … all very heavy gifts. The bride-to-be lives on the other side of the country. This was Saturday afternoon and we were leaving early Sunday morning. Quickly I calculated the cost of shipping in my head, only to realize it would cost more than the value of the gifts. Panic set in as to what to do.
Luckily a friend advised I take all the gifts back to the two respective stores where the bride-to-be was registered. It was further suggested I explain the dilemma and that should they accept the returns without receipts, we would guarantee the same items be purchased on the east coast. It was a lot to ask of the stores.
To my complete amazement, not only was each store agreeable, they both went a few steps further than the request itself, and further than I would ever dare to ask. They both offered to not only take the gifts back, but to ship them for free. On top of that they were giving local patrons in-store coupons and voluntarily extended us the same courtesy. So in addition to saving a tremendous amount of money in shipping costs, the bride will receive her gifts with no effort on her part, plus she will also receive extra spending cash!
The two stores involved were Macy’s and Bed, Bath and Beyond. They surpassed all expectations on the customer service side. Their attention to my dilemma motivated me to help spread the word of their incredible attention to their customers. This is the power of outstanding customer service. It serves to build your brand so well that others feel compelled to voluntarily provide referrals and testimonials.
Everything you portray and how you prioritize your “everything” is reflected in your business practices. It is these practices that will negatively or positively affect your outcome. Once you have everything in place, consider these ideas:
11. Develop company policy and document it in its entirety
12. Train staff members as they come on board
13. Frequently check that everyone is on the same page delivering the same message and behaving consistently
14. Make customer service your #1 priority
15. Pay attention to details
16. Act swiftly to correct missteps
17. Thank your customers repeatedly
18. Notify clients of promotions and/or new services
19. Remain in touch
20. Ask for feedback
All of the above is designed to promote good word of mouth and make it a constant. This is what develops brand recognition and a returning and referring clientele. Treat your clients well to find huge reward and the Smooth Sale!
Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC, (800) 704-1499, was honored by Open View Labs with inclusion in their international list of “Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012.” Elinor authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, published by Sourcebooks and the best selling career book, “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”, published by Career Press.