Tag Archives: reputation

What we can learn from talent shows

As most of us aren’t in the entertainment industry selecting staff isn’t quite like the razzle dazzle of TV talent shows. But it’s X factor that sets people apart. Simon Cowell and Rachel Hunter know this, and I believe everyone needs some staff who have that something special.

We’re always going to need a range of staff, and for many jobs the X factor may not be so vital, but when it’s there seize it with both hands. Brining onboard someone a little less conventional, a little more outgoing, a lot more into people can really add to the EQ of your team, company and its reputation.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great people, and many didn’t have that X factor but those that did raised the bar for everyone.

Two examples stand out for me. One was a young woman who had a support role. Rocky (Rochelle) was her name, and she was hungry for work, to learn and to live. Her personality was pervasive and her ‘no problem’ attitude was a winner for everyone. She had the X factor plus.

The other example is a forecourt attendant who has motorists wanting to stop to fill up even when the tank isn’t half empty. Tony, was at a smaller Z service station, before the company moved him to one of the larger more high profile sites. They recognised the value he could bring to their brand that no marketing budget could match. Tony’s attitude and positivity welcomed customers time and time again no matter what.

Both of these individuals raised the collective at the organisations they worked for. Don’t get me wrong, they had a great team around them and no star makes a team. But these two are examples of how adding people with the right personality can leverage all the good work that’s done across the rest of the team.

So how to you find these people? When recruiting ask for people with the X factor, look out for them and approach them, ask others in the team for recommendations, keep looking. Also be a little more open minded with the CVs. It’s often easy to recruit someone who can do the job. Recruiting someone who has that something extra can take a bit more effort but it’s so worth it.

Go 2 Market principle: every organisation needs a Rocky or a Tony! Yes, everyone. Simon and Rachel have to find them, and so should you. Make sure you’re open to adding that special someone that will enhance your organisation’s overall performance.

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Love it or hate it, it’s reality

I’m not talking about those reality TV programmes we love to hate, but customer perception. Because, love it or hate it, what customers perceive is the reality they live by.

Why does a customer buy this product or service when another one is better suited. It’s to do with their perception. Sometimes they might not be aware of other choices, sometimes the benefits that other products/services can offer might not be communicated well enough, sometimes it’ll be habit, lethargy, comfort, or sometimes it’ll be just plain irrational.

As marketers, the last reason is the most frustrating to us, whereas the other reasons can be more easily addressed. Changing people’s perceptions of your product/service is an exciting challenge. Here are some ideas on how to go about it:

  • Talk to your staff and help them understand the journey you’re embarking on and why
  • Understand why prospective customers prefer someone else’s product/service over yours – that’ll guide you on what actions to take
  • If your product/service has benefit/s that are important to people buying competing products/services then you need to consider changing your communication to change perception
  • Trial ways to shake customers out of their lethargic buying habits of buying your competitor’s product e.g. offer samples, demonstrations, review the communication channels you’re using, bundle up with other more popular products to get more uptake, find and work with key influencers e.g. store people, reviewers, writers, specifiers, tradespeople, celebs (who could just be well known people in your area)
  • Lastly don’t put at risk your unique selling proposition, i.e. what makes your product different to your competitors – unless doing so is going to be a game changer.

Changing perceptions isn’t easy, and it can seem like swimming against the tide. That’s where your determination and passion for your product/service will be needed. Impart some of your passion for your product in ways that will change people’s reality.

Sometimes a legacy of poor performance, or superior performance from a competitor, will make the journey a long one. But be persistent and consistent to your objective of changing perception. It may take time but it will happen.

Go 2 Market principle: perceptions can be turned around. Work at it consciously and openly with your staff and others who can help.

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Why we have two ears

You all know that there are conversations going on about your business. There always have been and with social media opinions are more public and enduring. We also all know that what’s being said online is usually highly regarded by others.

Recent research supports this:

• 49% of local consumers are more likely to use a local business having read a positive online review

• 69% of local consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

So getting positive reviews is important. Monitoring and responding to negative ones is equally important. Here are some ideas about getting positive responses:

• Get the basics right; provide a reliable and friendly service that is value for money

• Engage with your customers so they come back

• Incentivise customers to comment about you

• Get customers to have their friends join you online

• Offer regular specials as reasons for people to come back.

Listening to what’s being said is easy. Google Alerts lets you know when your business/name has been mentioned. It can also alert you about many other things too, such as your competitors!

Go 2 Market principle: set about making a target for positive reviews, then plan to achieve that. AND make sure you’re monitoring, and addressing less positive reviews.

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