Will your business succeed during these difficult times? It’s the little things you choose

Will your business succeed during these difficult times? It’s the little things you choose

There are 2 businesses where my family grabs a bite to eat quite regularly in the Beaverton Community.

They both have delights we enjoy, but they could not be more different in how they approach customer engagement.

Papa Murphy’s Pizza at Murray Road and Allen Boulevard’s employees answer the phone in a positive way, they look you in the eye, they give you info when you call your order in (like your balance), they tell you to have a great day, they say Thank You!!It shows that they want your business, and that they appreciate their customers gifting them their patronage and hard-earned money! IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS!

The other location will go nameless. They are a locally owned eatery, we enjoy their food, and we don’t want to negatively impact their business by listing their name. However, when you call an order in, their young employees mumble the company name as they answer the phone. They just gurgle out the company name, without a: “Thank you for calling” or “How may I help you. “In fact, I think the teacher from the Peanuts cartoons speaks more clearly!

After you order what you want, what you regularly get is silence, or a clipped: “Your order will be ready in 10 minutes.” Then click. ME: “Hello, are you still there? Hello?” Nope, they hung up. No thank you, no total, no cheery: “See you in a few! “When I walk out the door with my food, it has been handed to me, by an employee who quickly turns away to their next task, without a goodbye, thank you, have a great day or see you next time. IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS…OR LACK THEREOF!

Now, I want to be clear, I know both owners. They know me. They know I have been in the sales/marketing/customer service industry for decades. My Papa Murphy’s pal calls me regularly and asks me how my experience has been lately. He wants to know. He is on it. He trains regularly. He reminds his staff of the little things often. Are they perfect? No, but they are good, pleasant, and I feel good calling and walking out the door with my pizza.

As for the owner of the service challenged business, I have called and emailed him with lightly toned, positive worded messages about the interpersonal communication issues his staff is exhibiting. He has been receptive, but nothing has changed. That’s ok, we’re not criticizing him here. Just comparing how one owner might be “on it” while the other is not “jumping on it”. We love their food, but:(A)I shake my head walking out the door, feeling a tad under appreciated.(B )We still order there as we love their food, but we also see our visits declining compared to the past.

Note, I don’t need to be coddled or over engaged. Not in the least. BUT, business owners and managers…keep in mind: We are living in a time when people are pinched financially and stressed out. Job restrictions, layoffs, Covid, Social Unrest, A Contentious Presidential Election, etc…all have people on edge, worried, anxious and more. People are careful where they spend their money, and more than ever, they want to feel good, feel appreciated, and walk out the door thinking their time and money was well spent.

Simple stuff here. It’s the little things. Eye contact. Information Provided. Positive Tones. Appreciation. Thank Yous.

You get to choose. Will your people be good or great at it? Or, will they just appear unengaged, going through the motions, or even uncaring.

Winning or losing. Succeeding or failing. It’s all based on: THE LITTLE THINGS!

Make it easy for people to do (and keep doing) business with you!

Look up… and surprise someone!

Spencer Rubin is a sales/marketing expert and a passionate advocate for the success of small, local business owners. To sign up for Spencer’s weekly Catalyst Newsletter. Contact 971-732-4745. “Don’t give up, don’t EVER give up” ~Coach Jim Valvano