Responsiveness

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I left a message for a company yesterday again. They have still not called me back. I am thinking about moving on. Too bad. There’s a lot of business that could come their way. I tend to be a loyal person to the things I like.

In this instant, 24/7 world, there is this illusion that we can always obtain world-class service. That’s not true. I think we want it. But then we end up with a phone tree, wait times and no follow-through.

Business is still people. And people are hard to move towards responsiveness without leadership.

I still smile when I call my accounting software, FreshBooks, for support. Two rings into the call and I get a live person! It’s impressive. I love their responsiveness, and I tell my clients and friends about them every chance I get. They are part of my team, and I’m a fan.

There are a few other partners that have also set up their business around responsiveness. It keeps me delighted, and I stick with those partners. I trust them.

Maybe it’s my own need for quality. I practice mise en place. I believe in being responsive and love delighting people with a high level of service and care. That’s how I see it. Good business is about truly caring about another person and helping them get what they are looking for fast.

I don’t think that it’s a lot to ask. And I do believe most customers are looking for care and responsiveness. You don’t have to go far to hear the complaints of bad service or sloppy follow-up.

Can you imagine if your brand stood out because of your responsiveness? If you are constantly in a crisis or tripping over your own clutter and disarray, forget it. You won’t make it happen. You don’t care enough.

But, if you want to stand out, I bet opportunities and attraction make their way to your doorstep from a habit and setup of being responsive in all your dealings.

How can you make responsiveness part of your way of doing business?

Create Pleasure In Everything You Create

We live in an economy of abundance and choice.  The rules shift up Maslow’s hierarchy when we have our needs met.  Mediocre products and services may be functional and cheap, but they lack appeal when we are in a marketplace that is craving something more.

The Pleasure Principle

Just delivering is boring.  It is expected.  If you can create pleasure for every touchpoint with your prospective customers, then the noise of the crowd will not obscure the view your customer has of you.  Pleasure points are built from thought, leadership and culture.  It is a driving principle stemming from the fact that you care for others and believe in reciprocity: If you give people what they are seeking, you will get what you are seeking.

You can create pleasure every day and this is what opens opportunity to be something more than mediocre and statistical.  Consider these options for creating pleasure as a marketing strategy:

1. Focus On Design

Design is cheap and can be implemented at marginal costs.  The real costs are in the thoughtfulness and care that goes into aesthetics, clean lines and customer experiences.

When a customer opens a package, do they feel pleasure or is it an obstacle to get to what they want?  Does holding your product bring delight or frustration?  Are colors, sounds or communication touchpoints appealing and timed well or nonexistent?  Design the experience meticulously by thinking of each step the customer walks through.

2. Get Personal

Grocery stores make an effort to say your name at the checkout from your receipt’s payment information.  The travel industry uses loyalty cards to provide status and meaning to your personal identity and relationship with their brand.

In your own offering, personalizing your messages, the services you offer or the product presentation creates immense pleasure.  You are making your customer feel important.  The depths for implementing this are endless.  If you care enough, you can make it happen.

3. Bend Time

If you do the unexpected, then you can delight.  When hotels have warm cookies waiting for weary guests or a limo service has ice cold refreshments, they are anticipating and showing hospitality.  They are one step ahead of the customer.

Think about the requests your customers make.  What if they did not have to ask?  Instead, what if you had their anticipations waiting?  You would be one step ahead of them and bending time – their time.  They have one less worry or request.  Make your processes serve your customers intelligently and watch as you get picked over your competition who merely reacts.

4. Provide Ideas

If you are growing, then you can share.  Your knowledge becomes an asset in this world of speed.  Everyone is moving so fast, it is hard to think.  What if your suggestions and ideas were fresh and brought value to those you come in contact with?  You can stimulate and energize someone with ideas that solve their problems.  We are all walking around with problems in our head.  Our lives are filled with incomplete loops.  Help close the loops by being valuable with ideas.  Package the ideas in suggestions in your products and services.

Pleasure Marketing Is About

Few companies (or people for that matter) apply pleasure marketing.  It takes effort, and more so, care.  If you care more about profiting than helping others, then how you package your offerings becomes apparent.  It’s about you, not other people.

The root of successful pleasure marketing is having a core value of truly caring for others and their experiences.  It creates the vital passion to address the nuances of buying and consumption.

What ways can you increase pleasure for your customers?