When you start a business in the modern age, you are quite literally taking on the world. It used to be the case that you were only competing with whatever local, or at the very most national, business was providing the same service as you. However, in today’s world, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In his 1962 book, ‘The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man’, Marshall McLuhan coined the term ‘global village’. The Canadian media theorist devised the term to describe the phenomenon of the entire world becoming more interconnected as the result of the propagation of media technologies throughout the world. While the term was not initially focused on the world of business, it perfectly captures the competitive nature of starting a company in the digital age. Instead of simply having to go up against your competitors in the local village, you have to go head to head with the global market.
This provides very little room for error and the consequences for a slip up can be final. There is such an abundance of alternative options that if a customer is unhappy in any way, they can easily go elsewhere. As a result, there are a number of key points that every modern business needs to ensure they get right. Surprisingly, these are also factors that far too many business owners dismiss as either easily manageable or, worse still, unimportant. This article has been put together to highlight two such points and explain why they need to be treated with the utmost importance. So, without further ado, let’s get started…
1. Brand Consistency
A business is far more than the product it produces or the service it provides. It is the sum of every element that goes into allowing it to function on a daily basis. There is a reason why so many company’s have a tab titled ‘Our Story’ on their official website. In the modern age, this matters to consumers. With so much choice, we want to know what a company represents, how it got to be where it is today and who are the people behind the finished product. Just as it is in politics, it is the message that needs to create a meaningful connection with the public. You can read more about the importance of maintaining brand equity in this article published on The Guardian website.
In essence, this aspect of business can be boiled down to one word: branding. And the only thing more important to a business than their brand, is being consistent with how it is communicated. This is why companies go to a lot of effort to create brand guidelines. However, despite the amount of work spent on creating templates to achieve just this, they are often not followed correctly or, in some cases, not used at all.
There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that larger companies have an incredibly high number of creative files, such as images, to manage over the course of a calendar year. Organisation is key here, but it is far too common for businesses to have their digital assets in several different locations, which, as you can imagine, is bound to cause difficulties.
Thankfully, there is a modern solution in the form of a digital management system (DAM) called digizuite. You can think of digizuite as a single platform on which you can store and organise all of your businesses content, thus removing the stress of having to deal with multiple services. Simply put, it allows you store, manage and distribute all of your images, videos, audio files, logos and documents in a single, easy to access location.
This, in turn, ensures that your company can consistently and accurately communicate its brand in the manner it wants. Furthermore, it reduces the time it takes plan, create and distribute your content to who you need to. If time really is money, then every business should take advantage of a DAM.
2. Customer Service
There are a large number of sayings and/or phrases that tend to be thrown around at an incredible rate without any real thought or purpose. In the vast majority of cases, this has caused them to be dismissed as banal platitudes rather than mottos to live your life by or structure your business around. However, every now and then, there is one that is both incredibly common and most definitely true.
In this instance, we are referring to the concept that the ‘customer is always king’. With so many businesses moving online, there has been a tendency for business owners to undermine the importance of customer service. With an absence of face to face interactions, it is an aspect of business that has on occasion been forgotten about. This is, without doubt, one of the biggest mistakes a modern business can make.
For starters, poor customer service is one of the fastest ways to ensure that you will lose a customer. In contrast, good customer service retains customers and even extracts more value from them. According to Forbes, customer service is the biggest factor for company success. When you consider the impact of what good and bad customer service does for your business, it is very difficult to disagree.
Customers are quite literally the lifeblood of your business and in the digital age, this statement has never been more relevant. In the introduction of this article, we referenced how competition within the world of business has moved from the local to the global scale. This has not only had an impact on the importance of the quality of your product and/or service, but also the aftermath of bad customer service. Word of mouth was always an important factor when it came to your business, now, in the digital world, this has resulted in the talk of the town being the talk of the entire online world.
It is rare that individuals will buy a new product or subscribe to a new service without conducting some form of research online. In order to this, review and comparison sites are some of the most commonly visited resources. So now, if a customer has a bad experience, it will not simply mean that you lose one customer, but potentially thousands. This mindset needs to be built into the culture of every business’s approach to customer service.
Attention to detail is absolutely key here. If a customer does not feel that they are being treated in the manner they deserve, they will not only go elsewhere but they will leave a permanent warning online to any and all potential future customers. Moreover, good customer service is also highlighted in the same manner, so customer satisfaction is now more crucial than ever before. To put things simply, the customer has never been more of a king.
The Bottom Line
The two key points outlined in this article represent how you communicate what you do to the public and how you treat them. No matter how far we progress as a species, these factors will always remain as a fundamental part of the foundation of any successful business. Be sure to treat these points seriously and you will be more than on your way to achieving your objectives.