“People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Within two miles from my home, are three convenience stores: a Rite Aid, a CVS and a Walgreens. Although the Rite-Aid is closest, I find myself driving furthest to the Walgreens. Why? When my children started school they were often asked to bring in photos, and, as a working mom with extremely limited time, having photos on hand was not in the cards, and having them printed was a headache. Then Walgreens came out with the ability to print photos from your iPhone. You just downloaded an app, uploaded the picture, and picked up the prints (often within an hour, and this was years ago.) That was a big deal for me, and because of this, I’ve become loyal to the store. I have a warm and fuzzy feeling for them and am willing to drive a bit further to get there.
Companies spend billions to create that warm and fuzzy feeling. Just watch any Johnson and Johnson, Tide, or even Rice Crispies commercial and even the roughest man may tear up. Don’t forget the Budweiser commercials with the Clydesdales; they’re appealing to your emotions, not your pocketbook. Most of those commercial hardly mention the product itself; they are selling you the betterment of life.
If you are not conscious of how you are making your clients feel, then you are losing long-term relationships and long-term dollars. Here are a few things to think about as we start the New Year.
Start with your team: It can take only one bad day, one snippy comment, or one roll of the eyes for a client never to come back, and they will remember why. Make sure your team knows that every impression counts. Who answers your phone and how do they answer it? When someone walks in the door, how are they greeted? What do they first see? No one wants to deal with someone miserable –everyone on your team is representing the company. Make sure they know it.
How do your installers approach the home? Are they polite? Do they take off their shoes? Make sure every member of your team is on board with the impression that you should be giving your clients.
Make sure your image is consistent: Surely it is easy to monitor how your in-house staff is doing compared with the install side. Remember, some of your clients may never set foot inside your showroom (if you have one), so the image that you portray when the truck pulls up is just as important. It is your showroom on wheels. Is it clean? Is it labeled with your company name and logo?
Homes are sanctuaries and having someone cut holes in your walls can be scary for people. Do your installers lay down drop cloths when cutting a hole? All of these interactions will contribute to whether the client will call you the next time they need an integrator.
Do not forget your non-interactive image: Not only can you control how your team answers the phone, and acts at someone’s house, you can also control how one feels about your company before you ever interact with them. By this, I am referring to your company website, social network pages, and advertising. It may be midnight when a client begins researching for whom they’ll be calling for their next system. Make sure that not only is your website professional, but human. Social media is easy and a great way to get your company name to show up in a Google search. Do you answer questions on your Facebook page? Do you post on these sites? Do you post great comments? How are your reviews?
By taking a step back from day-to-day business and looking at the image that you are creating, you can be sure that you to making people feel good. If you make them feel good, then they are more likely to spread the word. It goes beyond the products you sell to why you are in business in the first place.
If you make the client's life better and make them happy, they’ll be clients for life.
Heather L. Sidorowicz is the president of Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.