Anita Street runs Say it with Brownies, selling gift boxes of handmade brownies online at sayitwithbrownies.co.uk. She uses printed.com products to enhance her packaging and promote her brand. Here she shares her insights on using the personal touch for small business success.
Today people are becoming increasingly conscious of what they are buying and where it comes from. The recent Tesco beef burger debacle has highlighted that people would like to know more about what goes into the products they buy and the food that they eat.
Customers will pay a premium for genuinely high- quality hand made products such as my chocolate brownies. When you take the time and trouble to carefully make goods by hand, the care and attention really shines through. Once people have tried home-baked cakes, nothing that is mass-produced can compare.
Hand producing makes for a superior product, and in the same way, adding a truly personal touch to your communication and relationship with the customer gives excellent results. I use social media extensively – both Facebook and Twitter are incredibly useful. My customers often write and tell me how much they have enjoyed their brownies or how a gift has been well received, and I always take the time to thank them for their orders and their feedback. This is a great way of building a fantastic customer relationship that will stand the test of time and keeping in touch with what your customers want.
While many will consider hand made products overpriced and too expensive, plenty of others will pay a little bit extra for this level of premium product and personal service. Even in a recession, people will support your enterprise if you can demonstrate quality. That said, you do have to consistently deliver and delight your customers for them to keep on coming back to you. There’s no room for short cuts or corner cutting.
The customer is the most important person in your business and keeping them happy is the key thing to focus on. Get that right and everything else should fall into place. The challenge for me will be to maintain this level of personal service as the business grows and that is something I shall consider as I take Say It With Brownies forward into 2013.