You can’t out-market a bad product or service. I know what you are thinking: This is just another marketing professional who is taking a stand against “over-marketing,” but hear me out. Too many times business owners will try to focus all their energy on marketing or advertising instead of providing their service or product with excellence. Marketing becomes the distraction that justifies ignoring the blatant fact that they need help in other areas.
The point of marketing and advertising is to get more customers in the door and more people to try your product or service. But at the end of the day, if the delivery falls short and the client is left feeling underwhelmed, it is all for nothing. Instead, the goal should be to make sure that your company is fulfilling each and every order with excellence.
You should be so excellent that every time someone experiences your company, they have to tell someone about it. Marketing and advertising are meant to amplify your word of mouth.
In my opinion, one of the best ways to step back and get an unbiased opinion of how you are doing is to implement secret shoppers. This can be a great way to measure the areas you are strongest in and the areas you could use help in.
Yes, your branding and marketing are important, and they do need to be world-class, but it can be a slippery slope that will steal your focus. After working with hundreds of clients all over the U.S., I have found that the ones truly able to separate themselves from the masses are the ones that have a white-hot burning passion for providing each and every person with the best possible product or service.
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a system that asks customers, “How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?”
It suggests that if your customers rate their experience with your company on a scale of 0-10, the ones who you can count on to keep buying or refer others are the customers who rate it as a 9-10. Even those who rate it a 7-8 are considered satisfied, but they still likely won’t refer others and are susceptible to trying your competitors. This means you must blow each customer away in order for anyone to actually tell more people about you. However, if you spend all your money and effort on marketing and bringing in new customers but fail to deliver, that is a very expensive and unfruitful customer acquisition strategy.
Typically, the product or service in small businesses drops off when the business owner has to start delegating the tasks. What if, instead, you had systems in place to deliver excellence in everything you do?
A way to avoid the drastic drop-off in quality is to implement “idiot-proof” checklists. Warren Buffett once said, “I try to invest in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.”
Make these checklists where the employee has to initial by every step of the process, and ensure they do not just sign it and draw a line through it. Checklists help make the entire process better, and you are able to see where you can and need to improve (this includes training team members).
Create and implement checklists for everything — sales scripts, inbound and outbound marketing materials, etc. What if you held your team to the highest standards possible, and then brought in new customers when you could confidently overdeliver for them?
Napoleon Hill writes, “The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does.” This is also true for marketing. Your marketing dollars go so much further if, for each new customer or client brought in, they refer at least one more because of the outstanding experience.
As an action item, ask yourself, “In what area is our product or service delivery less than excellent?” Be intentional about your sights, sounds, smells and creating a “wow” experience in every single area.