I have been on the road a bit the last few weeks and I have noticed several things that made me scratch my head – figuratively not literally, of course. Just small things, nothing major, but all of them made an impression on me. Let me know what you might add to the list or if you are guilty of any of these in your business.
1. Leaving Messages: S P E A K S L O W L Y. Just like in the television show Taxi when Jim asks “What does a Yellow Light Mean?’ while taking his driving test. If you are not familiar with this analogy I am sure it is on the web somewhere – just type in “what does a yellow light mean” in your search engine. Good for a hearty laugh. I receive messages on my phone all the time where the person rushes through the message and you need to listen two or more times to get the phone number down and then you still don’t know who is talking and you might have a vague idea about what the call is about.
2. Sending E Mails: GIVE INFORMATION. How many times have you received an E mail saying they would like to set a time for a meeting or to talk with you and then they just sign it “John”. Help me answer the question quickly by telling me what the conversation or meeting will be about, when would be some available dates and times for you. Don’t make me play E mail tag trying to narrow down a time or date. Don’t make me ask what it is all about and don’t make me ask who you are, John!
3. E Mail Signatures: MAKE IT USEABLE. At a minimum you should have your name, title, company and every way in the world to contact you. Don’t make me click on another app or program to get the information. You sent me the E mail, you must want to connect with me, so make it useable! Then think about adding a logo, or tag line or something fun on your E mail. People will remember.
4. Serving Customers: KNOW YOU STUFF. I was at a hotel for a board meeting recently and had a couple of hours to kill between activities. I approached the desk clerk and asked her if there was anything close by that I could walk to, either shopping or an attraction. She gave me a list of places, all of which needed a taxi for transportation. I later found out their were three cute boutiques a block away and I proceeded to provide some economic development in the area. Then I asked what kind of transportation was available to get a ride back to the airport. She thought there might be one but it would be $180 so she was sure I didn’t want to use them. Duh, I had to get to the airport – any alternatives here! This experience might have been in a hotel, but the same principles apply to anyone in a business that deals with customers. Make sure you and your staff are aware of what is around you and what other questions someone visiting might ask. Maybe do a little sharing and brainstorming at employee meetings.
5. Showers: MAKE THEM USER FRIENDLY. I know, what a silly thing. It is not that silly when you are in the shower with the water running all over you and you are blindly reaching for the soap or shampoo which are “conveniently” located under the showerhead; and, then they drop on the floor and you reach down without moving so you don’t trip over them and fall; and, by then you have water everywhere, your hair is in your eyes and you have step back, dry off so you can see again and start all over. Maybe it is a girl thing, but I am on a mission to let contractors, architects, etc. etc. know to put the things that hold the products at the opposite end from the shower. That and I am also on a mission to make sure all vehicles have the gas tank on the same side to avoid jockeying for position at the gas station. But……that is a story for another time.
What would you add to the list?
Sage Strategies is a consulting firm working with small business, local governments and non profits in rural areas. Our mission is to help them build for the future. Our vision is “supporting our rural roots and building economies in our own backyard”. Among our services are social media marketing, one time project management, nonprofit administration, facilitation, team building, strategic planning and business coaching. www.sagestrategies.biz