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 your understanding of a given situation, a person or perhaps a thing in front of you.
It is the meaning you assigned to that 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 is 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.
And let’s be honest, that type of perception profoundly impacts how we 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 it 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 their reality of your business and brand.
It doesn’t matter what you think.
The famous quote by Kate Zabriskie
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 and your future success as a business depends on this exact thing…
In marketing for decades, marketers and magicians have relied on this fact to make you see things the way they want you to see them.
The thing is though, I believe it goes both ways.
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 not replied to their comment on your post?
What I’ve observed over almost 10 years of being in business is that people forget, business owners, forget, that perception is their customers reality.
Some business owners forget the way that they treat people, the 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, 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 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 perception.
CAN PERCEPTION BE CHANGED?
Yes, it can.
Focus on the perception of your customer to create a new reality, and being we are in the business of marketing and social media, this means showing up as a real person, 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.
What we’re talking about here is either literally the glass half full or the glass half empty perception of life.
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, 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 who network, who show up to sell.
Shift your perspective from what can I get out of this and how can social media help this?
Ask yourself this… How can I help with zero expectation in return?
Be willing to try something different as John Maxwell says, fail forward.
How Can I Help?
Get help if you are unsure on how to get the right message to the right people at the right time.
There is so much free information available online. The challenge with that, of course, is the overabundance of information, is it the perspective or your perception that you don’t know where to start?
We have a ‘Stand Out’ guide, 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, recommendations on 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.
They see the same story, the same message so that their perception is that you are what you say you are.
The right message to the right people at the right time.
Have a great week,