I’m playing Peter Pan. Do you want to be Jane like me?
Ok for those of you not clued into Disney, Jane is Wendy Darling’s daughter in Return to Never Land.
This was how my four year old daughter greeted her friend this very cold morning, while we waited for the teachers to open the doors and the school day to begin. This was the start of her day, how did you start yours?
The school run this morning got me thinking. They say a childs’ play is their work and sitting there watching my four year old playing with her friends, made me think about what I could learn from her and how it could that be used in business.
1) My daughter seems to make friends wherever she goes. She will confidently talk to others in the playground and ask if they want to play or if she can join in with them.
Lesson: Everyone is a potential friend, business partner or customer. Always have your business card or contact details with you, after all you never know when an opportunity will present itself. Ok not everyone you speak to is going to buy from you, but maybe they have a friend looking for your product or service. However don’t bore people with the details if they’re interested in what you do then great, if not as long they are aware they can spread the word.
Action: Carry business cards on you, tell your friends what you do, and link to your business page from your personal account. Make it easy for people to find out what you do, if they want to.
2) Rather than telling her friend to be someone else in the game she asked if she wanted the same character, giving them both a chance to be in the lime light. There’s always room for someone doing the same thing as you. It’s what you do, that makes the difference.
Lesson: There is likely to be competition in whatever field you are in. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means that that the quality of your work, the service you give needs to be better. You need to work out your person USP (Unique Selling point). Use your USP to give yourself the edge.
Action:If you don’t already know what your USP is then, spend time today working it out. Make sure you tell others about it, is it on your website, your facebook page, if your proud of your USP let others know about it.
3) So I was told on the way to school that Peter Pan was with us, my daughter knew she was going to play with him whatever, even though “he’s just pretend and not really there” .
Lesson: Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean you can’t play or work with it. Think about your blog or facebook page, you chat to people on there, most of which you’ll never meet, or speak to in person. When you are considering how to sell your product, service or goods you need to think who needs it. Working up a profile of your customer will help you create picture in your mind of who they are, I use this picture when I write to set the level of who I am writing to.
Action: Create your own customer profile, how old, where do they live, where do they hang out? The more info you can add the more ideas about places to advertise, services to offer etc you can get to provide your customers with what they want, where they want it.
4) When your 4 you can fly, swim, be a princess and a mermaid all before school. I don’t know about you but I think we could all do with a little magic in our lives.
Lesson: day to day life can have its highs and lows, imagine how much better your day and your customers day would be if you shared a little bit of magic. Do you do something that others don’t want to, or can’t do for themselves? Then just by doing what you do best, you will be helping others think of this a magic. I create websites, people tell me I just wouldn’t know how. Ok so I learnt how but to others it’s still magic. See the magic and make your day a little brighter.
Action: find your magic, spend time with your children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, or even just spend a few mins acting the kid yourself, enjoy and have fun. Bring that feeling into your work. As Mary Poppins says, “find the fun and snap the jobs a game”.
So these were my thoughts, now to put them into action. Next time you’re watching a child playing, spend a few minutes thinking, what can they teach me?
In the past if you wanted to contact a company with an idea or an problem, you rang then up or even wrote them a letter. For example did you see the story about the girl who had the idea to change Sainsbury’s Tiger bread to Giraffe bread. Usually a letter will only be seen by a handful of people and with luck will eventually get to someone that will deal with it.
Now with email and the Internet we expect a much faster effective responses. But what happens if you have a problem with a company, they’re ignoring you, not responding to support tickets or your email? Have you thought about using social networks to your advantage?
Recently I had some problems with several domain names and their renewal. I followed the online system and sent off the ticket. I got a response quickly, saying if I responded within 7 days they could arrange the refund. I spoke to my client and replied to the ticket, (the ticket had to be re-opened because it had automatically been closed by the companies system. Two days later I still hadn’t heard back from them. I wrote another update on the re-opened ticket – still playing by the book. But when I still hadn’t heard by the next day I was starting to get really concerned.
This particular company doesn’t have an online chat option to chat in person, but they did have a facebook business page. As I already “liked” them on Facebook I thought I’d do something I’ve seen others do but I hadn’t tried out myself. I knew that someone from the company regularly responded to posts on the their business page ( a very important thing for any page admin to do). So I wrote a polite comment asking could someone please chase this ticket as I needed it sorting urgently. Within a few minutes the problem relating to the ticket was resolved. Ace! job done. However the next day their system then started acting up and not only recreated the original issue but did it twice! So it was time to raise yet more support tickets. After a day or more I had yet again received no response. So I took it back to the the Facebook fanpage.
So why does this work. No company wants to wash it’s dirty washing in public, pages of comments on pages of Facebook or Twitter of problems with a company, a piece of software etc. give a bad impression. But if they can be seen to be responding to these problems it does at least improve the perception of a company. Now I’m NOT proposing that you need to do this for every little problem, I guess the support team would be a little put out if you did. But if you’re not getting a response or you keep getting blanked, you may find that approaching via Facebook or Twitter may be worth a try.
I know people who have complained about bad service by tagging the restaurant chain in a post, who then got vouchers back.
If this doesn’t work (it may vary on the company and how well they respond to social network queries) then Google the company, if you have had a problem then chances are someone else will have had. Join any groups, blogs, forums. If one voice isn’t being heard the voice of many will be harder to ignore.
If you have any questions or want some advice then why not contact me on Pippas Web.