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Consumers today are more connected than ever before. We all know this… And that makes your company culture more important than it ever has been.

It’s as clear as day – people are constantly tweeting about their experiences with various brands, Instagramming pictures of their meals, connecting with company pages on Facebook, writing reviews on Google…

Every smartphone holds the power to instantly broadcast an opinion to the world.

But the average person isn’t just sharing their opinion of a given business for kicks…

They share for one of two reasons:

#1 – You’ve exceeded their expectations so much, they want others to take advantage of what you have to offer

– or –

#2 – they are sorely disappointed and want to vent their frustration

Because people are sharing these opinions with their friends and family, each and every person that sees a photo or reads a tweet is going to incorporate that information into their personal opinion of the brand…

It’s just like word-of-mouth – but on the largest possible scale…

…often with photographic evidence.

So, what does this mean from a company’s perspective?

If the customers are now the primary influencers of public opinion about your business, making their happiness a priority becomes a strategic necessity.

And this starts with a company-wide focus on leaving your customer saying “wow!”

When I say “wow!” I’m talking about a diligent effort to provide value and service to every customer and prospect you encounter, and striving to exceed their expectations.

I’m talking about enabling your employees to meet the needs of customers (even if it means adding free bonuses or taking a little bit of extra time to solve a problem).

Just look at Zappos, who lives by a “wow!” company culture, and makes it almost impossibly easy to buy from them…

…or Nordstrom, whose employees will personally guide you through your entire shopping experience…

Apple Store employees are authorized to bend the rules to meet the needs of their valued customers.

When this effort exists in every facet of your company culture, from the people on the sales floor to the people processing customer complaints, the idea that your company will “wow!” them will permeate the customer’s opinion of you…

And they will want to share their favorable opinion with others. This means more prospects, more repeat business, and – you guessed it – more profits.

Using “wow!” is more than just a smile and a free bonus, though. The old days of big business sharks are dead and gone – customers want to do businesses with companies they can trust.

The old mentality of “profits over all else” is a recipe for disaster in today’s hyper-connected world. The moment you start stepping on people’s toes for the sake of your bottom line, someone is going to notice…

And more importantly, they’re going to tweet about it, take a photo, post a review…

Customers aren’t idle bystanders anymore – keeping them happy (and sharing their positive opinions online) is one of the best marketing tools you have at your disposal.

So if you want to compete in today’s environment, the culture of “wow!” needs to be ingrained in your business, from the way you treat customers to the way you deal with employees, from the way you build your products to your involvement in the community.

People often recognize companies who operate with this kind of intent – the drive to provide value to their customers – as the best kind of companies to do business with, and what’s more, they share this opinion with the world…

In your corner,

Charlie

what now?

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