The times are a changin. So many people suffer with short tempers these days, as so many businesses have failed to offer a basic level of customer service. Try calling most airlines, and be ready for a wait of hours to speak to an agent. Call any big company, and be prepared for more wait time, voicemail, and the fun of being hung up on. Restaurants close early due to acute staffing shortages, and so many stores are just plain out of basic items. It is a mess — and from big price increases to terrible service, most people are just fed up.
Out of all this comes an opportunity — an opening to the smart marketer. Now may be the time to invest — to invest not only in good outreach, but in great service. Surrounded by so much good technology, there is no reason why things should be so hard. Start with your website — don’t build some dated HTML site that looks terrible on a phone — has no accessibility. Instead, look to modern template solutions, such as Squarespace, where new features are regularly added, and commerce, accessibility and mobile ease of use are baked in. A great site beats a good site, and is the basis of your brand. And, think of your market — and be sure that the images on your site are inclusive of everyone in your community and celebrate diversity.
But don’t stop there — invest in your people — give them the training and assets they need to find success. Empower them to solve problems, and have them be ambassadors of a great experience.
Fix your phone system, work to find ways to cut through the clutter and not answer with 17 voicemail options.
Go out of your way to be inclusive — and offer a product that supports those with allergies, digestive issues and other things that are often left off the list.
Take charge of your online reviews. Own your Google review, as well as your page on Yelp or TripAdvisor. Update it and respond to reviews, not with sarcasm and questions but with thoughtfulness and kindness.
Basically, being nice, treating people well — and going out of your way to help have always been great assets — but today, so many companies and organizations have lost their way. Kindness and good cheer as well as a quick sense of humor, is the new secret sauce to marketing success — and most of all, it brings you goodwill and word of mouth, positioning you for success on the road ahead.