Have you ever walked into a store for a browse, a look around to see what is on offer, you notice the staff standing at the cash register, they look up, perhaps share half a smile, and then they go back to what they’re doing?
How did it make you feel?
Did you continue browsing with the energy you had when you walked in?
The perception for many when this happens is the assistants couldn’t be bothered and didn’t have time for you.
But is that really true?
IS IT PERCEPTION OR PERSPECTIVE?
Perception is what we interpret. It’s our understanding of a given situation, a person or perhaps a thing in front of us.
It is the meaning that you assign to a situation, person or thing.
On the other hand, perspective is your point of view.
It’s the lens you see the world through and determines how you view yourself, others and everything else around you.
Psychologists love this topic and there are literally millions of articles and research on this very piece.
A great example of this is that old adage of there being two types of people in the world, those with the glass half full, and those with the glass half empty, and that is perception.
How you look at things, and your perception profoundly impacts how you experience life.
There is no right or wrong here, it simply is.
In other words, we believe what we perceive to be accurate, and we create our realities based on those perceptions.
Perceptions feel very real, although they may not necessarily be so because it’s the perspective that brings that into play.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH BUSINESS?
Everything in fact.
The simple truth is a customer’s perception is literally the reality of your business and brand.
It doesn’t matter what you think.
There’s a famous quote by Kate Zabriskie that says, “The customer’s perception is your reality.”
It doesn’t matter how excellent you think you are or how well you think you do customer service, what really matters is what the customer thinks. Your future success as a business depends on this exact thing…
In marketing for decades, marketers and magicians have relied on making you see things the way they want you to see them.
This also translates to online marketing.
We as business owners and entrepreneurs need to think about how we show up online, not only in the physical space but also in the digital space.
How does your customer feel when they land on your post, your newsfeed, or your website?
What do they think when you haven’t posted for weeks or months and have not replied to their comment on your post?
What I’ve observed over more than 10 years of being in business is that people forget, business owners, forget, that perception is their customer’s reality.
Some business owners forget the way that they treat people, who may not be their customers, can either make or break referrals, or make or break recommendations.
If you send a short curt email because you’re busy and you’re flat out and you’re wanting to get home, the perception is that you’re too busy for the person receiving the email.
Showing up using social media, and being online, perception is reality.
If a business posts a shoddy image or an ill-thought comment because they are thinking… ‘I don’t have time for this, I know I am meant to post something, but this will do to just get it out there, rather than putting some thought into what would be valuable for your ideal client, it shows.
The perception is their reality, the perception can be that the business can’t be bothered, or doesn’t care or is too busy, which will most certainly not be the case…but it is the way things will be seen.
CAN PERCEPTION BE CHANGED?
Yes, it can.
Focus on the perception of your customer to create a new reality. We are in the business of marketing and social media, which means showing up as a real person and doing real things.
It means taking charge of the story that goes out, just like a screenwriter or a director does for a movie because everything begins with a decision, a decision on how you’re going to show up, who you’re going to show up for, and then how you deliver the message.
MAKE A SWITCH
Take responsibility for how you show up.
Start to see you and your brand as other people may see you. Ask questions, go to your customers, and ask them how they feel when they experience your customer service, whether it be via social media or in person.
Ask for feedback.
There are loads of businesses that network, and show up to sell.
Shift your perspective from what can I get out of this to how can social media help this. Again it’s about being of service.
Ask yourself this… How can I help with zero expectations in return?
Be willing to try something different as John Maxwell says, fail forward.
Get help if you are unsure of how to get the right message to the right people at the right time.
There is so much free information available online, utilise that or reach out and get help.
The Social Coach has a free guide to ‘Stand Out’, please click here for your free copy.
As Mother Teresa says…‘Be faithful to the small and the big will come’ because you never know when a small business or that person who you thought was another tyre kicker turns out to be a fantastic million-dollar deal.
A customer’s perception is absolutely affected by reviews, PR, social media, personal experiences, and other channels.
Make sure you ask for reviews, and recommendations and share them on all our platforms, including Facebook, Google My Business, LinkedIn and your website.
When someone does a review search, what will they find?
Make sure it is in alignment across all the channels, and there are so many ways to repurpose your reviews.
The aim of the game is to show up for real, to be authentic, and most importantly be consistent no matter where your prospective client or customers go they see the real thing.
Make sure they see the same story, and the same message so their perception is that you are what you say you are.
The right message to the right people at the right time. A winning combination.
Have a great week,