I made to a call to a company the other day and encountered a voicemail message telling me that the caller would return my call within 3 hours. I went away satisfied, able to get on with my work and confident that I would get a call back and didn’t need to make a mental note to call again.
In the same week I had an ‘out of office’ response to an email informing me that the recipient was working part-time this week as it was half-term and so may take a little longer than usual to get back to me. Too much information? I don’t think so. Again, I felt happy to be kept informed.
In contrast I ended up in an anonymous ‘phone queue the other day and, though I was probably only on hold for a minute, by the time I’d been blasted with ‘I’m in the mood for dancing’ I was in the mood for murder!
Unless you are operating in a truly time critical environment it seems to me that the best way to keep customers happy is to keep them informed. Think about what is an appropriate time scale to return a call or email in your particular business scenario, tell your customers when they can expect to hear from you and most important of all…stick to your promise.
Is it a trait of small business owners or something to do with British reserve? Recently I seem to have come across many examples of businesses simply selling themselves short.
Of course, I still see countless examples of overblown marketing copy hyping the next must-have product which sends me reaching for the delete key. Equally though, there are plenty of great businesses, brilliant products and wonderful services that could benefit from a few well placed superlatives in their web copy or adverts.
I was recently asked to write an advertorial piece for a client who was, if I say so myself, delighted with the outcome. I know this particular client, and their products, very well and so had no difficulty in articulating how good they are. The client in question felt uncomfortable ‘blowing their own trumpet’ but was quite happy for me to do it for them.
So why is it so hard to get the balance right? Try putting yourself in your customers shoes and think about what they would say about your product or service. Better still, get you customers to do the job for you. Genuine customers testimonials ( and yes, we can all see through them when they aren’t genuine) are worth their weight in gold. Don’t worry if they don’t say exactly what you would have said, this makes them all the more compelling, and they are likely to be written in the language that your prospective customers will understand.
So go on, ask a few customers what they think of your product or service and have a go at injecting some life into your marketing copy.