Delivering On Promises Is The Key To Business SuccessPosted 23 Dec 2017 In business, being a safe bet can be a positive advantage, according to Chris Day
Is it me or is the world turning into one giant betting shop? It used to be that, to visit a casino, you had to apply in advance, show your passport and be quizzed on your suitability before you could be ushered in. Now I can play roulette or blackjack all day long on my smartphone if I wanted to and nobody seems to care.
As a nation, we have always relished having a flutter. Traditionally, it was the weekly football pools coupon that would test your predictive powers to select a win, lose or draw for every fixture.
On the nose
For those who didn’t like football, you could always put a couple of bob on the nose of some horse with good odds or go down to the nearest greyhound racing track and donate money to sick animals.
Then there was the glitzy National Lottery, with the voice of the balls. We all watched agog as a big plastic robot selected the winning numbers, which never seemed to coincide with the ones on our ticket.
For those people who had worked out that the odds of winning the Lottery were less than the chances of finding Elvis on the moon, there was always bingo. But for even the most hardened or enthusiastic gambler, who would have given odds on everything that’s currently happening around us today?
Everything we used to take for granted is changing. The world of politics is in a state of flux. Internationally, everything seems to be in a mess. Even the predictable British weather has let us down. This year we had a Bank Holiday with no rain. You can rely on nothing!
However, every cloud does have a silver lining. When everything around us is so unpredictable, the businesses that can be relied on will come into their own. People are fed up with being let down and disappointed, but if you buck that trend and become known for always delivering on your promises, you’ll have an edge.
Predictability in business is a positive advantage. Customers get to know your rhythm and realise that doing business with you is one thing they don’t need to worry about. You’re as good as your word. But can you be even better? The secret to any good relationship is communication.
As every good trainer knows, you first tell people what you’re going to tell them, then you tell them, then you tell them what you told them. It’s all about crafting expectations, delivering on those expectations and then reminding them you did indeed deliver what you promised.
Believe me, not everybody does. In an unpredictable world, your advantage is to be predictable - and not a gamble. This is where the growing business has an advantage over the big boys. By being much closer to your customers, you’re able to add that personal touch and also develop a far closer relationship.
How could a multinational telecoms giant ever have that sort of close relationship with its customers? It can talk a good talk, but it’s by megaphone, not one to one.
How can you take advantage of the personal touch? I believe it’s about ongoing dialogue, rather than a series of slightly impersonal messages fired out at random. These days, the place for a back channel of communications has to be online and being in the same social media space as your customers.
Even now, far too many business owners see social media as not being relevant to their business. It’s a place for inane gossip and pictures of grumpy cats. That may be true, but it’s where your customers hang out and where you need to be seen. For many people, their group of followers is also a resource of information, recommendation and advice. The people they like and trust hang out there.
It’s a fact that people buy people before they buy goods or services, so social media is where you can be yourself and let people discover your personality, passions, likes and dislikes. By engaging with them in their own space, you almost become family. But unlike so make virtual friends online, they also meet you face to face in your business. Now the relationship is stronger.
Never forget, people will call the people they know, like and trust in preference to a machine. Know and like is the easy bit, but the trust bit comes from always delivering on your promises and always being predictable. When so much in life is hit and miss, they need to know they can always bet on you. But you can go one further.
On top of predictability, offer them delight as well. What little bit extra could you offer that brings a smile to a customer’s face? Knowing their needs and their business, what could you add on that would make their life easier?
Do you remember the Kleeneze salesmen of the past who used to carry a leather suitcase full of samples? Whenever you placed an order, they used to give you a little gift - like a tub of lavender polish. What could you do or give to your customers to further cement your relationship with them?
My local car wash always puts a new air freshener in the car when it’s cleaned there. It’s a tiny thing, but it makes a difference - and makes me want to return. You’re the greatest asset in your business, so be the one thing in your customer’s life that isn’t a lottery.
About the author
Chris Day has spent a lifetime as a communicator. Originally an actor and theatre director, he has appeared on television, in films, on radio and on stage. He is currently the CEO of Filament Publishing, a boutique publishing house specialising in training, self-help and personal development titles. He is the author of the book Turning Your Knowledge Into Income.