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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

On empathy and The Guest Experience

Answer => “What is the one marketing investment Small Businesses can make that will return the highest ROI?” on Quora.

=> My answer…

Whatever it is the focus should be on The Guest Experience. The key to that focus is empathy. That is, to put yourself in the shoes of your Guests (i.e., formerly known as customers).

For example, years ago I used to frequent a flower shop that was near me. The woman who owned the shop typically brought her dog to work for companionship as well as security. The dog was not kept on a leash and while certainly friendly he had a fairly intimidating bark. Those that did not know him would be scared. Putting fear into the hearts of your customers is obviously not a positive.

I am fairly certain that the dog cost her direct sales, probably quite a bit. And of course there’s the damage from negative word of mouth and unrealized positive word of mouth. The ROI on a leash would have been massive. The ROI on a security camera or similar measure would have returned dearly as well. She refused to consider either. I believe she is now out of business. Which obviously is no real surprise.

Another SMBs pet peeve of mine is not having late hours one or two nights a week. If I work days and you’re only open days then the expectation of me having to use my weekend to do biz with you is unrealistic, if not insulting. Why should I do that when I can get it done at Big Box X? I don’t necessarily like to do that (i.e., shop at Big Box X) but I don’t see why I should have to waste my precious weekend to do biz with someone who is not empathic to my plight.

My point is, many get distracted pursuing home runs and grand slams when singles, doubles and just basic fundamentals would win them championships (read: Guests who would champion them). Having been guilty of it myself, one of the best investments SMBs can make is in a deep and steady supply of empathy.

Finally, to answer your question more directly, a website and a email that you actually reply to. Even a single page site with hours, directions, specials, etc. and said email address would be a small investment in meeting Guests’ expectations in decade two of the 21st century.

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