Avoid This Marketing Mistake!

Photo taken overlooking Bburg.

I never miss a chance to share photos of Blacksburg

Do you know what’s worse than lack luster marketing?  Marketing that makes promises your organization can’t fulfill.

Case in point:  I’m in Blacksburg, Virginia, this week staying in a hotel that is fulfilling all of our basic needs at a reasonable price.

And yet, we will never stay here again.

Thanks to the hotel’s website that promised an amenity filled room “perfect” for an extended stay, we checked in with high expectations.  Those expectations have been dashed at almost every turn.  I’ll spare you the details about the lack of hangers, broken HBO, ridiculous excuse for towels, and “kitchenette” without dishes and skip right to the two lessons you can apply to marketing your nonprofit organization.

Under Promise, Over Deliver

It’s easy to make your organization look good on the internet.  Doing so may even get new people through your door.

The problem is, when you don’t live up to those expectations, not only will people leave disappointed, chances are good they will share their bad experience with their friends.

On the other hand, if you use your marketing to paint a picture of your organization that is slightly less amazing than what you can consistently deliver and then do everything you can to dramatically over deliver on the promises you’ve made, your visitors will still leave talking–but in the good way.

Pay Attention to Customer Service

This part has very little to do with social media, but it’s so important and  so often overlooked, I can’t write this post without addressing this point.

I doubt I’d have been inspired to write this post if the young woman working the front desk on Sunday night had attempted to show some concern for the problems we were having and had taken some initiative to help solve them.  Instead she provided blank stares and two or three different versions of “what do you want me to do about it?”

It’s easy to chalk such experiences up to general laziness or “damn kids” but customer service problems are almost always a result of leaders overlooking one (or both!) of the following leadership responsibilities.

Hire the Right People

Some people are not cut out for customer service.  Before you hire new people to work with the public, make sure you’ve made a good choice.  A strong training program helps.  So does paying people to quit.

Treat Them Well

If you treat your employees poorly, they will almost always treat your customers poorly.  Treat them with respect and give them the tools and authority they need to make your people happy and they will surprise you.

Your Turn

Wow, it felt good to get that off my chest–you should try it!  Leave a comment about a recent frustration in your own life–bonus points if you can tie it back to a nonprofit management, marketing or general social media lesson!

Here’s a fun video to get the ball rolling:

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