First published Friday, February 14, 2014
This morning, I attended the Innov8 Network Meeting at the Bridge Innovation Centre in Pembroke Dock. The theme for the event today, given the date, was around sharing some love for local businesses, encouraging other business people in the county to talk about someone else and how they’ve made a positive impact on their own business.
In amongst those being mentioned were a number of Pembrokeshire Tourism members, and indeed several of those present this morning are members. It was great to see people being very open and genuine about why and how other businesses have helped them, and of course in a county like Pembrokeshire, word of mouth recommendation is worth far more than any advertising campaign.
Part of what we undertake to do here at Pembrokeshire Tourism is encourage businesses to work together, share best practice, develop new ways of working and so on. We understand that sometimes this can be quite a big ask, after all many of our members are in many ways in competition with each other. That said, it is refreshing to see how many of our members do see the benefits of working together. Whether they be accommodation providers signposting visitors towards attractions and activity providers, or supplier information being shared amongst the members, by working together, these businesses are strengthening the offering to the visitor, and in turn strengthening their own business position as they provide a better experience and offer informed advice to the paying guest.
It doesn’t take much to say a good word or two about a company you’ve received great service from. We encourage visitors to do it all the time, whether it be in the form of a Trip Advisor review, or a rating on Facebook. However, I don’t think we do it enough within our own local business community. We seem to forget that we are also customers of other businesses, and whilst many are often quick to complain about poor service or product, we’re much slower at telling the good news stories.
There are two key points here if you are looking to secure a bit more love for your business:
1) Make sure that the service and products you are providing are worthy of a good report. From how you greet the customer, be they a visitor on holiday, or the local firm you’re providing printing for, make them feel valued. Take time to listen, greet them, make eye contact, smile (believe it or not, there are people who conduct business without looking at or speaking to the person in front of them!) and show an interest. It really is that simple.
2) Pay it forward! If you’ve been given great service, received great value, say something about it! Whether you post a message on the company’s Facebook page, or mention it in your own status updates, or in conversation with friends, let others know. Not only will it raise awareness for the company you’ve dealt with, you’ll also get to be known as someone who is happy to share good experiences, and people will ask for your recommendations.
It’s all quite simple really, and as was pointed out at the meeting this morning, there are 365 days in a year, and we should be sharing the love every day, not just on one day a year! So today, whether Valentines Day is your ‘thing’ or not, why not take a moment to let another local business know how much they mean to you, and say thank you!
Pembrokeshire Tourism Members who were mentioned today: