Under Promising and Over Delivering

12 March 2009 813 views No Comment

This seems like a simple concept, but too often in business this concept is disregarded and replaced with excuses.

Bridge and Pond

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image credit: chadh

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I have definitely been on the receiving end of too much promise with no delivery and I’m sure I’ve been on the other end as well (my apologies to those I’ve shorted).

In today’s world, the Web provides customers with an unlimited number of replacement products and services.

As much as we like to think we’re the only one in a certain industry, it’s simply not reality. Even if you’re the first company to do something in a field there will soon be companies that copy your exact formula and improve on your formula.

So it’s important to remember who your customer is and to under promise and over deliver on those promises by surprising them with remarkable content, products and services.

A few quick tips for hunting businesses on how to stay ahead of the competition

Never stop thinking and sharing ideas (of how you can help your customer)

I work for a footwear catalog company and it has really been a great learning experience for me. When I applied and interviewed for the job of a catalog manager I had no idea what I was doing. My boss gave me the opportunity of a lifetime and I’ll be forever thankful.

As a result of my job, I’ve learned that thinking of new ideas, strategies, and tactics is one of the best ways to improve a catalog, email, and Website images.

Basically all I try to do at my job is to encourage the designers (the true artists) to experiment and try a lot of new things. I do my best to give some direction, but really I know very little about how to design remarkable creative so I’d probably be fired without them.

They continually come up with new and edgy images and ideas. It’s great for me and I hope that they get benefit out of the process as well.

For hunting businesses, I’d suggest to continually go to your customers with new ideas, new experiments, and new procedures.

Don’t wait for your customer to come to you with a problem.

By the time they come to you it’s probably too late.

Listen to what they’re saying and answer their problems before they even know they have a problem.

It sounds simple, but I can attest that A LOT of businesses do not attempt to do more than their contract requires.

The people and the businesses that do the simple extra steps are the ones I see as valuable and the ones customers really value for their needs.

Keep consistent communication on the progress of a project

One of my pet peeves is businesses that don’t keep me in the loop when it comes to a project I’ve hired them to do.

Sure I probably come across as an annoying customer, but don’t customers have the right?

Shouldn’t businesses expect customers to be annoying?

Or…

Should businesses beat their customers to the punch and contact them at every step of the way before the customer starts wondering what’s going on?

Even if you think it might not mean much, you’re at least giving your customer some play-by-play information to keep them in the loop.

The work you’re doing may seem unimportant to you, but to your customer it is very relevant.

Summary

I’m seeing in today’s world that the businesses on the Web that actually listen to the customers are the ones who are succeeding. The businesses that put themselves first are the ones who do not succeed in their transition to the Web (newspapers anyone?).

Focus on your customers and put them first.

Focus on keeping consistent contact with your customers. It may seem silly to you, but to your customer it will be very valuable.

Don’t give your customer any reason to leave you and go to the next competitor.

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