In the right gear

As communicators we can often learn a lot from the way small businesses are operating. Communication doesn’t have to be big, flamboyant and outlandish to be of note. It may be the stuff that historically will win awards but if nothing changes then was it worth it?

Yesterday I took my car to a dealership garage for a service. A mundane and slightly boring activity. Well it would have been until an amazing piece of communication that was worthy of note. I need to give a little background which will explain to why this communication was important to me.

A few years ago I had a bad experience of a garage that I ended up in a dispute with about damage to my car. It remained unresolved as they refused to accept any responsibility but I was convinced they had to be responsible as there was no other explanation. As you can imagine I have never used that garage again.

There is an issue of trust with garages. We have to trust them and if we don’t then clearly that is when they lose business. I was surprised to receive an email from the garage while my car was with them for the service. When I opened it there was a short video showing the mechanic commenting on my car.

In as delighted because I could see what they would normally tell me in a checklist when I picked the car up. It was reassurance. It was transparency. It was confidence in the job they were doing.

This was simple communication and took an innovative approach to the simplest of technology. There was nothing overly fancy or showy about it but it did exactly what it was supposed to do. It was effective communication that achieved its aim and will ensure I make a return visit for my next service.

We could all learn from this and instead of trying to be clever be targeted and focused on communication that does what it set out to do.

Do you have any examples of simple but effective communication from small businesses? Share it with me.

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