How to make a BIG business act like a SMALL one

Posted: March 10, 2008 in Business Advice, Marketing, Small Business, Technology
Tags: , ,

Why would a Big business want to act like a small one?

A small business knows its customers individually. The ‘management’ are close to the customer – they sell, deliver and clean up afterwards. A small business knows their customers likes, dislikes, knows how to truly look after their good customers. They don’t need saturation level advertising, mailouts or spam campaigns – so are effectively invisible to corporates – they just get on and focus on serving the customers they have, aquire new ones by word of mouth.

“Hello Mrs Jones – I’ve got some lovely steak – just like your Dennis likes it. Oh and I’ve put aside a few of those beef bones your dog likes so much”

Just look at this single line from a local butcher.  He’s recognised his customer by name (25 points). He remembers her spouses name (50 points) . He knows which of his products the Joneses really like – and irrespective of what She came in for – he’s already attempted to upsell! (10 points). Finally – he’s thrown in some bones for the dog – TRUE LOYALTY – not some complicated discount scheme! (15 points)

The points allocation you ask? – Thats the weighting I would put on the ability to carry off each of these tasks within the exchange. People LOVE you to remember their names, and things that matter to them. They will be blown away if you appear to care enough to think about their needs. But you cant do the ‘care enough to think about needs’ without the other bits first – and this is where Big Companies go wrong – if you want to know more – email me via www.richstream.co.nz

Big Companies can’t really know its customers individually. They are a fraction of each statistic at a board meeting. Half the companies staff may not have even met a real customer. Customers make their life difficult with their complicated requirements. The effort to attract and hang onto clients is enormous – Mass marketing, Loyalty schemes, Product ‘Facelifts’.

Big companies desperately strive to appear like small business, becuase it is the only way they have any relevance at a personal level. “We know you and we care”,  might be believeable coming from your local butcher, cafe or salon, but a multi-national bank? Gimme a break.

Big companies can only act like small business by either operating as a collection of small businesses – or assuming a hive mentality – where all information is shared across the organisation creating a collective ‘memory’, so that any one worker can appear to know and understand your needs.

Enter ‘Customer Relationship Management’, ‘Customer Database’, ‘Data Warehouse’, ‘Relationship Marketing’ or any one of a number of other terms  that effectively mean one thing:

Store data about each client so we can carry on a human level conversation that appears real

Therefore we can state “Technology is the sole enabler that allows Big companies to act like small ones”

Trouble is – few BIG companies know how to use the technology properly to achieve the effect they so desire.

Can you imagine an anonymous employee at the local Supermarket saying something like our small butcher example above? While almost laughable – it IS possible with clever use of technology and the proper training of motivated people.

Think about the staff of a very high quality hotel – they are trained to act friendly almost to the point of being familiar – and the effect is a pleasant experience. So it is possible.

It sort of sets the standard of achievement for larger companies sales and marketing support technology dont you think?

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