A friend of mine posted on her Facebook page about an experience she had at a local gas station recently. The gas attendant politely asked how he could help her, cleaned her windows and gave her candies. She was impressed with his service and of course tipped him before leaving.
That reminded me of a time when I purchased a bag of peanuts from a Rasta gentleman selling peanuts on the street. As I was eating the peanuts and dropping the shells in the bag, to my surprise there was a candy at the bottom of the bag. Wanting to know if it was an accident or intentional, I went back to the gentleman and asked if there was supposed to be a surprise in the bag of peanuts, he smiled and said, “A Candy!” He then explained that that was something he does every now and again. He was also very polite.
While these acts may seem small to some, when it comes to customer service we must be creative and remember that sometimes small things make a big difference!
What is it that you can do to stand out from others in your area of work? Whether you are a business owner or an employee you can be creative in the type of service you give and place yourself above others in your field.
As a business owner you can differentiate yourself from other businesses offering the same product or service as you, by thinking outside of the box and adding some special flare, branding your company in a positive way. Your brand is what you are known for. Companies may try and create a certain brand for themselves, something that the public can identify them by such as a logo or a slogan that ties in with the company’s vision and mission statements, however, they must live up to the brand. A company may claim to have a certain brand but it’s the customers’ perception of the company that really creates the brand.
As Scott David Cook, Co-founder of Intuit once said, “A brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is, it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
A similar quote by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon Co., says “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Unfortunately many companies become branded for negative things like poor service. You have the power to make or break your brand.
The gentleman that I purchased the peanuts from took an ordinary bag of peanuts and made it extraordinary by simply adding a candy. The bag was sold at the regular price of $1.00 that others sell them for but instead it had a sweet treat. That little candy made a big difference and put a smile on my face. He will now be branded as the peanut guy who puts a candy in the bag of peanuts.
No matter how small your business may be, show that you take pride in what you do and be creative in branding and marketing yourself and your company.
As an employee, you can also stand out amongst your coworkers as the young gas attendant, by the type of service you give. A simple smile, being pleasant and polite, exhibiting patience and being professional at all times, being helpful, knowledgeable about your job and able to answer questions or give advice, putting in the extra effort to serve your customers, these things can go a long way in helping you to stand out because there are many of your fellow employees who may not practice such things.
In branding yourself, to stand out amongst your coworkers, remember your personal brand consists of the way you look, the way you speak and the way you act.
You may also try and be creative in thinking outside of the box of different things that you can do to brand yourself, to stand out on the job, things of course that do not go against the company’s values. For example, I once heard a story about a maid at a hotel, who whenever she cleaned a room, left a personal note telling the guests to enjoy the day. This was not something that she was required to do on the job, or something that her supervisor had asked her to do but something that she chose to do. She differentiated herself from the other maids by this small act. The person who shared the story said the maid was also tipped heavily for this small act. Small things can indeed make a big difference. Whether written or said verbally, a kind word can make someone’s day.
So whether you are a business owner, an employee or a sole proprietor of a small business, I encourage you today to be creative like the maid at the hotel, gas attendant and peanut man and think of something small that can possibly make a big difference in the type of service that you give to your customers.
• Questions or comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org