Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A different story for each person. Are you a consistent entrepreneur?

Are you a consistent entrepreneur?
I see a lot of attention placed in emphasizing the development of strategies, methods, and implementation of actions to develop a positive and memorable experience for your company’s or brand’s customers.

And obviously, this is an essential element for any business strategy: Building a positive and memorable customer experience to turn those customers into good customers for life so they also become an inexhaustible source of new referrals, which today is known as becoming "brand ambassadors".

Who doesn’t want to achieve the same goal?

However it seems that the only ones who deserve to enjoy this experience are your actual customers, those who are actually buying your products, giving you their money. And I am quite sure that is not so. At least, shouldn’t be only them.

What other people deserve to enjoy the same experience?

Although very important indeed, customers who buy your products or services are not the only people who are entitled to enjoy such a memorable and positive experience with your company.

There are others that are equally important (or even more) and it might be you’re not taking them into consideration, or you’re not giving them the importance they deserve. Do you know who they are?
Your company is not only related to its customers, although it might look like it is so. There are also employees, the bank manager who oversees your accounts, your accountant, vendors and suppliers, the company selling you office supplies, neighbors around your business location, the deliveries guy, the DHL driver who stops by to drop off documents and packages, well ... I think those are examples enough for you to understand the idea.

With things being this way, what’s the reason for you then to create a positive and memorable experience only for paying customers?

It's funny because it happens so often that you put your whole focus on creating a positive and memorable experience for paying customers, that you forget about everything else. And then you have your suppliers waiting for months to receive payment of their bills, or your employees that must withstand the abuse they receive from you, or accepting you’ll be reducing their wages simply because you consider it necessary, or neighbors who complain because you park your car right on the middle of the road, blocking everyone else’s drive.

In developing your brand proposition either as a business or a person, always keep in mind that everything counts. Sometimes it adds up, sometimes it doesn’t. But everything counts.

The positive and memorable experience should be created for everyone.

It makes no sense that your brand or company sends different messages depending on whether the recipient is a customer, a stockholder, an employee or a supplier, because, at the end of the day, everything counts and it all comes together to the same place: your company’s recognition.

The brand experience must be memorable and positive for all of them, even those who are not giving you their money. Why?

Because everyone can become, whether you like it or not, a multiplier of the message they receive from you. If the message is positive and memorable, then you've found an excellent ambassador for your brand or company.

But what if the experience or message received has been negative?

How do you think your company will be perceived by a supplier that has to call your office again and again to get payment for a 30-days-net bill that is 120 days past due? Or how do you think your company will be perceived by the employee who has been working for you its entire life without ever receiving a salary review? Or how will your company be perceived if you stopped paying the last three payrolls simply because you ran out of cash?

How will affected people talk about your company or brand? Will it be positively or negatively?

Your message must be delivered in a consistent, coherent way. Regardless of the channels you have chosen for its dissemination (options here are plenty) your overall message should essentially be the same.

What does developing a consistent brand proposal mean?

In plain, everyday language, it means that your actions must match the things you say. And the things you say, must match the things you think. You are not going to make it through if you hide yourself behind the "judge me for what I say and not for what I do". It simply doesn’t work these days!

The only thing that matters here is to be simply consistent, coherent, and that you behave the same way with everyone. Or can I be affectionate with my friends but abusive with my wife? Or can you consider yourself an "honest businessman" while you're playing with your employees' salaries, or with your vendors’ money?

Be honest with yourself and start by delivering a consistent, coherent and straight-forward message to everyone!

Always keep in mind that, above all, consistency should reign in everything you do and communicate, and that all people who are related with you and your business deserve to enjoy a positive and memorable experience.

Always. All of them.

Related posts on this blog:
Customer Experience: The importance of a consistent message.
What Does A Barbie™ Have To Do With Your Personal Brand?

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