07 December 2006

The little things

I find it interesting how most of the time it’s the little things that a business does that makes it memorable not the big things. The problem is that over time, we all get a little selective vision and start to gloss over so much of what we do on a day to day basis, to the point where we no longer pay attention to the little things that can really make our business better than our competitors.

I noticed this on a flight to Sydney recently. The male flight attendant was slamming the overhead cabins shut and I mean slamming. It was a disturbing noise and customers all around my part of the plane were making comment. As the attendant reached me I asked him if he really had to slam the cabins quite so hard as I found it a little distressing, especially at 6am. He looked at me with a smirk, muttered something and kept doing exactly what he was doing.

Now how impressive is that? If he worked for me we would have had a very interesting little chat. There was a time I would have complained a little louder, now I will just fly with someone else whenever possible. Its interesting how one person can let an entire business down. This is just one example – I can think of at least fifty others in the last week.

I am often asked for that secret marketing idea that will make any business boom. One tip that will get the customers knocking down the door and begging to be let in. Sadly, I don’t believe that one idea or secret does exist. But I know where to start. Look inwards not outwards.

Take the blinkers off and have a long hard look at your business. What is it that you could improve today? What is your corporate culture (or in more straight forward terms what is your opinion on stuff?). Are you really committed to customer service and satisfaction? Is your product as good as it can be? The list goes on.

From my own daily experiences (and my own business) we can always do things so much better. Sometimes though, we need someone else to come along and tell us how. I do that for a living and I love it. I also get people to do the same for my business. I am completely committed to making my business better every single day.

If you are looking for the one sure fire way to attract more customers and to keep them coming back, the answer is simple – exceed their expectations in every way. Those businesses that manage to do this do succeed. It’s as simple as that.

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