Friday, January 15, 2016
Happy New Year and a Reminder
Blogging a little more often in on my list of new year's resolutions! Meanwhile I ran across something today that bears some attention from those of us in rural America with animals or farm products to sell. Marketing is still the most under-addressed "leg" of any small business. So here's a story you need to hear.
"Coat Story Goes Viral" link found here:
The gist of the story is that a woman wanted to return a coat to the company Zulily, fully expecting the usual runaround. Instead they credited her account immediately and told her not to return the coat but to donate it to someone in need.
The important point for you and me, is that her report on facebook about this extraordinary customer service has been shared 50,000 times. How many of those 50,000 shares do you suppose will eventually be Zulily customers? Possibly 50%? Maybe only 25%? Anyway we can guess, it's a lot of new customers for them for a very minor investment of the price of one coat.
For those of you who have attended any of my workshops, you know I have an entire hour of the day devoted to "over the top" customer service. It's one way to get word of mouth advertising that is priceless. Oh, and by the way, it feels good both to you and to customers. In a world that needs more feel-good stuff.
Good marketing is really about serving your customers. Take a look at your farm/company policies. What is your own return policy? Many years ago I instituted a "30 days, any reason" return policy for all my books. Now, I know they're pretty readable and helpful books, but I had qualms when it began. There was some fear that people would read them then return a used book to me. I'm happy to report that the only return has been from a prison inmate--actually the prison. They felt the bindings (spiral wire) were problematic.
What is your policy on mentoring? What is your response when someone loses an animal? What do you do when a customer is not happy for some reason? Think it through and plan how you can really be of service to your customers. When the extraordinary happens--even when the ordinary happens, how are you and your business going to be extraordinary?
Take a look at areas where you can go above and beyond the expected, and shine in a world that needs light and businesses that forget the humans for the bottom line.
There are still a few hard copies of the first two of my marketing books and a few of the goat book found at http://beyondthesidewalk.com. My company will be going to all ebooks this year.
And let me wish you all a grand year of joy and satisfaction!