A while back we were interviewed by Tom Marin of Market Cues, a consulting service and blog for businesses and upper management. Tom is also the author of, ReThink. An Inside Look at Smart Organizational Strategy. The following is our interview with Tom.
I recently interviewed [Josh] and Stefanie, a husband and wife team who own “Rockin Monkey,” a sticker printing company located in San Antonio, Texas. Both are excited about what they have accomplished while raising their family, and they should be because there’s a lot to be proud of. They have two children and a good number of employees and a thriving business.
The keys to their success and how they evolve and grow
First, let me point out the blindingly obvious. Businesses and consumers are printing substantially less in an era filled with mobile devices storing images in a digital world. Printers are well aware of this downward trend and have been battling to break even due to these marketplace dynamics.
The digital age leaves traditional printers in a world of hurt if they do not find the one thing they can provide that guarantees customers will continue to engage their services.
My discussion centered around questions like, “What is your secret sauce?” “How do you attract new customers?” What best characterizes your company?” Their answers came quickly and easily. I came away with the understanding that their focus will help any organization of any size or type.
To [Josh] and Stefanie’s credit, they have found five ways to attract and retain customers:
Provide enormous value
Their sophisticated line of stickers are priced at very affordable prices.
Treat each customer like they’re brand new
Business owners and consumers have a varying degree of loyalty to the brands they use regularly. Higher frequency reflects equally high brand loyalty. This dynamic is powerful as it transcends a transaction to a relationship. Companies who understand this build powerful brands that their customers remain loyal to for years, and even decades.
A company’s best business developer is its customers! Many companies circumvent this approach by not offering world-class customer service. So many prefer to have someone from their company attend conferences, trade shows, and online communities instead. Although these are all terrific ways to “get the word out,” they pale in comparison to a customer who advocates for you. A strong endorsement from a long-time customer has ten times the impact of a company representative making promises.
Quickly address all problems
The first rule for handling customer concerns or complaints is, don’t panic! Stay calm. This approach will help you and your customers discuss the facts with less emotion. Always listen a lot and talk a little. Get the facts and then offer a solution. Don’t be in a hurry to cut to the chase. Your reasonable approach will turn a customer’s temperament if you are genuinely addressing their situation.
Make business fun
According to Monster, fun truly matters at work. They report that “If people are having fun, they’re going to work harder, stay longer, maintain their composure in a crisis, and take better care of the organization.”
[Josh] and Stefanie realize that customer service programs are at the heart of their continuing business success, including using up-to-date printing equipment and providing a healthy workplace where everyone can have fun. This exceptional care they provide to their customers and employees produce an excellent work product and a very positive future for all.