Imagine driving a luxury car that gets outstanding gas mileage, handles like a hot knife through soft butter, has the speed of a cheetah, and looks like a museum tribute to automobiles. You admire it parked in your garage, love how it drives, but then realize it’s uncomfortable to sit behind the wheel. The seat somehow feels awkward and whatever you do, you are unable to adjust it to be comfortable. Do you keep the vehicle, or trade it in for a ride that’s more comfortable?
Little things can make a big difference when it comes to vehicles. In business, little things can also make a big difference when taking care of your customers.
You may have the best product on the market. Your management, production, and sales could be the smartest, fastest, and highest caliber teams on the planet. Yet a simple thing like how your company is perceived on a social media website could be devastating to your bottom line. Some might say your social media presence is far from a “little” thing and we might agree … but in the grand scheme of a product’s life cycle … it could be argued that it is relatively minor if a comment quickly fades, but a deeper crisis or impression that persists can wreak havoc.
Consider the example of a large, globally recognized company that offers a variety of products and, in most circles, is highly respected and trusted by consumers. Mix in the company’s choice to make itself virtually impossible to contact for problem resolution and where does the consumer’s trust level go? To the bottom! Is it a little thing? Other corporate giants might feel the strategy is a stroke of genius, minimizing consumer contact and reducing staffing requirements. With a consumer-centered mindset, however, that little thing looms large in the long-term success equation for the company.
Little things matter. Minor details can be crucial to the success of a business and its products or services. Is setting a table with a dirty spoon all that bad in a restaurant operation? Yes! A health inspection could close the restaurant. A consumer might overlook the “little” thing, but they’ll surely ask for a replacement, inspect that replacement piece of silverware closely, and be suspicious the next time they visit that establishment, if they ever come back.
From your perspective as the business owner, how much extra time does it take to make sure the silverware is clean, in light of the impact it may have on your long-term survival? There’s a familiar saying: If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
Another real life example: We checked a candy bar’s expiration date on a recent visit to a convenience store and found it was a month beyond its “Sell By” date. Checking the entire box, we found the same date throughout. Even though we did purchase a different candy bar, we took one of the expired items to the check-out counter and pointed out the expiration date to the clerk. While the clerk was grateful, she was also astonished and admitted that the candy vendor had just been in the store!
It’s the little things. Was the vendor negligent, or simply trying to move expired product to unsuspecting consumers? How much would that unsuspecting, yet trusting, consumer have had to pay if he’d broken a tooth eating a hardened, out-of-date candy bar? Potential for a lawsuit?
Think about your business and your products and/or services. What are the little things you overlook that may be huge in your customer’s eyes? Take care of them by making them “big” things. When it comes to marketing, everything matters!
Contact us if you would like assistance with evaluating the little things that could have a big impact on your business.