If I were to ask you what the face of your business is, you might say that it is your logo, advertising, brand, website, or company ambassador/mascot.
Any one of those things could certainly be the most immediately obvious aspects of your business’ image, and they all have the potential to be tools for business growth depending on your overall business objectives.
However, would you agree that you are the face of your business? This would be particularly true if you are the first person that your customers and potential customers have contact with.
As a small business owner you are a major part of the overall image and reputation of your business. Your passion, interest and expertise provide an indication of the customer service and quality of your business.
Imagine if the public face of your business was your satisfied and impressed staff and customers. What effect would this have on your business in terms of attracting new customers and encouraging loyalty from your existing ones?
The reverse is also worth considering. Imagine if the public face of your business was staff and customers who were uninspired, disappointed or even outraged at your business?
That reputation would shout louder than any of your positive marketing tactics and would spread far and fast like a rumour weed. One obvious example of this is Telstra.
A quick google search for “Telstra” shows a high level of frustrated and irate customers. Use the keywords “Telstra reputation” for an even stronger message about the face of their business including an article on the first page where David Thodey, Telstra CEO admits to being ‘greatly disappointed’ when he himself has received poor customer service from his company.
To many the image of Telstra would be overtaken or greatly influenced by their poor customer service and what has been said about it, rather than Telstra’s product give-aways, logo, website or advertising.
[blockquote text=”See your staff and customers as a news-stand that talks about your business. They are the owners of your brand and the broadcasters of your reputation.
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You can be certain that your customers, previous clients, staff, associates, competitors and onlookers are talking about your business – behind your back.
Don’t get offended now – this can be the highest good for your business when you give them good things to talk about.
In preparation for writing the book The Referral Engine, John Jantsch conducted an informal survey of several thousand small business owners. 63.4% felt that over half their business came by way of positive referrals. According to McKinsey & Company, 90% of consumers consider word-of-mouth as the best source of information about products and services.
So give your staff, customers and potential customers something good to talk about, because they are going to talk anyway – particularly if you surprise them or trigger an emotional and passionate response.
Remember, people don’t get emotional and passionate about ordinary products, a satisfactory result, or a good price.
They talk about negative experiences.
They also talk about positive things like personal touches, receiving more than was promised, having their expectations exceeded and being made to feel great about themselves.
The exciting thing is, this is something that small business can beat bigger businesses in, over and over.
OK, I have three questions for you:
- What are some ways that you get your customers acting as positive news-stands for your business?
- How have you amplified this (e.g. testimonials)?
- Do you have any success stories where your happy customers have benefited your business by talking about you?