Your business news-stand

News-stand
What kind of headlines are on your business’ news-stand?

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:

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  1. What are some ways that you get your customers acting as positive news-stands for your business?
  2. How have you amplified this (e.g. testimonials)?
  3. Do you have any success stories where your happy customers have benefited your business by talking about you?

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4 thoughts on “Your business news-stand”

  1. I have one client in particular who acts as my positive news-stand, he happily recommends me to his colleagues – it’s great to know that know that you’re doing such a great job that people will tell others.

    I have testimonials available on my website and recently started up a referral program to encourage the recommendations, plus I figure recommendations work both ways and if I have the chance refer friends and family to my clients.

  2. Fantastic! Is your business on LinkedIn? They have a new facility on their Company pages that allows others to refer you on your page. You could get your clients to put the same testimonials on LinkedIn as well (great for your search results too).

    You’re absolutely right – recommendations should be two-way (without any expectation of what it will give you). A couple of years ago I helped a few charities with their PR with no expectation of what it gave me – I just wanted to help them out. Recently I have signed up a client who was referred to me by one of the charities. It may take time, but benefiting others pays off in the long run.

    Nice work Bridie!

  3. Good Morning Phoebe,

    I hope your well.

    This is such a brilliant and insightful blog, more so its so so so true (I just Tweeted and LinkedIn it).

    Your example of Telstra gave so much clarity to this topic and I really enjoyed the read!

    In answer to your three questions, mine are as follows;

    1: Testimonials, better still in print whereby we can place them on our website. They make such a difference and go such a long way with building trust as others browse our website and reinforce our brand, also creating safety and security.

    2: By obtaining media exposure on our service and what our clients think about us, from print media to online social media, it all makes for a cohesive operation and spreads the word that we exist.

    3: Yes many and this has led to more and more people finding out about us and then telling their network, its really worth its weight in gold and the beauty is, you never know who your customer may know, so all we try and do here at Certificatesonline is exceed peoples expectations and provide them with a 24 hour turnaround premium service when they require their legal documents and full original certificates. One recent success story was a client who ran a fulltime busy inner city cafe, who couldn’t escape the shop to tend to obtaining their full original marriage certificate for a passport application, so called us late at night and we delivered their shop front the full original marriage certificate by 10am the very next day. It was so wonderful to see such a happy response from our client and that is what we love most about our job – helping others.

    Have a wonderful day Phoebe.

    Julie.

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