Are you living up to your advertising?

Most small businesses say the same things in their advertising, “We have the lowest prices!” or “We treat our customers like royalty,” or “We stand behind our services,” or something along those lines.  So, do you?

I don’t mean do you make those claims, but do you live up to your claims, whatever they are?  You see, if the customer’s experience doesn’t live up to what is promised in your advertising, you are dead in the water.  Let’s say you claim affordable pricing in your advertising but your merchandise is upper scale.  People walk into your store expecting one thing, but they find something else entirely.  Not only do they walk out the door without making a purchase, they have a very negative image of you.  They feel you essentially lied to them through your advertising, and they are quite right.

The same goes for a business that claims they put their customer first.  If the service is slow, then what does that say about that business?  I’ll tell you; it basically says that they can’t be taken at their word.  They can’t be trusted, or, just as bad, they don’t know what they are doing.

Now imagine this: A friend takes you to an out-of-the-way restaurant and tells you, “Their service is lousy, but the food is out of this world.”  What do you expect?  Lousy service, obviously, but you also expect a really good meal.  And if the meal is good enough, then you just might be back in spite of the poor service.  Why?  Because the restaurant lived up to your expectations.  You were told it had poor service but great food, and you found that to be true.

Your advertising creates certain expectations among your customers.  If you deliver on those expectations, then your business will be a success.  If not, then you will have failed in the eyes of your customers.  You might still be in business, but you won’t have much repeat business.

In the long run, it is better to tell the truth about your products and services than promise things that you are not willing to deliver.  So live up to what your advertising says about you.  Not only will it impress your customers, it will impress your accountant as well.

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