If you are in business, or even if you have the latitude as an employee, there are less obvious ways to increase the chances for more business and a better reputation.
And one good one is? Give customers a break when the opportunity arises! No, this isn’t about offering discounts en masse. It’s about giving breaks in certain, usually individual, circumstances.
For instance, I build resumes for people on the side. I charge $30 for a one to two page resume and usually charge $5 for making changes later on if there are more than one change or if the change is somewhat substantial.
But, one time, a customer sent me his resume and wanted me to make changes as I saw fit. However, his resume was good as it was and I only needed to make a very minor date change that he’d told me about. So, since it only took two seconds, I let him know that there’d be no charge. He was pleasantly surprised by this and I’m guessing he probably told a person or two. Yes, I could have charged him at least my $5 minimum, but I chose not to. Why?
Because it creates good “Karma”. Maybe it won’t lead to more business, but then again it might, even if it’s just from him. You see, at the very least, he knows I’m not this hard case who will charge just for contacting me. And if he needs a new resume, he may just remember me.
When a business, especially a small business, does something like this, they do get remembered, even if it is after a while. And, when those customers who’ve gotten those breaks talk about it, even if it’s just a casual mention, it acts as free advertising.
And, if you’re an employee whose been given the latitude to cut people breaks at times, do it! It can mean a good comment for you on that comment card or online survey, or even a letter of commendation sent to your boss or someone even higher up, leading to a raise, promotion, or both, for you down the line. And, as an employer, it’s a good idea to give a trusted and proven employee just that kind of latitude.
As the recipient of some of these breaks, I do make mention of the good deals and breaks I’ve gotten, as well as a list of people and places to go to where I know I’m going to be treated well, instead of as just another pigeon to pluck! And, I’m quite sure that I’ve gotten some business as a result of my cutting someone a break.
And, speaking as a small entrepreneur, I know that any free advertising helps!
So don’t forget to cut some breaks if you’re able to. It can really help the bottom line, in more ways than one!
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