Trust

100_0580Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him. ~Booker T. Washington

I was thinking this week about the service providers in my life that I trust completely!  The outcome may not always be what I wanted to hear, but I trust them!

Our vet:  In December, both our older Maine Coon Cats passed away.  We were taking them to the vet weekly trying to keep them going…and the vet understood that but told us the plain truth.  One passed on its own by a heart attack and not the diabetes he had.  The other we had to put down a week later from nasal cancer.  Our vet was wonderful throughout and realized we really loved our pets and had to come to the reality of it all in our own way. We recommend them to family and friends and that is exactly how we found them in the first place.

Our HVAC person:  We have recommended this person to so many people and they all feel like we do…he is not the cheapest but does an absolute magnificent job! We were so happy when someone recommended him to us. He just contacted my husband this week to tell him he really appreciated all the business we have sent to him over the years and said that makes us one of his best and most valued customers.

Our auto repair shop:  When we take a vehicle to them and they call and say, by the way, your vehicle could use this or that, we just say, “make it happen!” We also recommend them to others, and once they use them, they feel like we do!

How has the trust been built?  They all have offered options and empathy!  What a great combination. They seem to really care.  It is a rare commodity these days! I am sure your customers feel the same way.  We answer reviews for one of our auto repair shops and they almost always get 5-Stars and even if they do not (you cannot please everyone) they have us write a gracious response.  This builds trust, too!

Take care and keep offering options and empathy!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Happy Thanksgiving!

100_0580“Getting through 2020 by counting my blessings each and every day!”

Once the initial shock in March of this year wore off, I learned to carry on by counting my blessings.  Even with the threat of Covid, distancing, mask wearing and all the changes it has brought to our lives, I still have so much to be thankful for.

In my professional life I have amazing customers, readers, fantastic staff, and excellent suppliers.  I have those who offer encouragement, and who make me smile and laugh!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to say a big “thank you” to all of you!  I know Thanksgiving will be different this year, but I still want to wish you a happy day and to say stay hopeful for a better tomorrow!

Thanks again for being the best of the best!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Autumn

100_0580“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” – Jim Bishop

Autumn is a great time to remind your customers to get their vehicles ready for the colder months ahead.  Many stayed home this year instead of taking a vacation, so they might not have considered it necessary to get their vehicle in tip-top shape at that time.  This is a good opportunity for auto repair shops to get their customers back in the shop for needed services and repairs so you can keep them safe and those they share the road with!

If we can help you get the word out, just let us know!

Wishing you a wonderful Autumn!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Wishing You All The Best!

100_05802020 has certainly been interesting!  I know the 1920’s was called “The Roaring Twenties” and I wonder how the rest of our decade will turn out!  It certainly started out with a bang!

I did notice something that I will mention here.  My customers that used humor or showed caring by helping other businesses (restaurants in their area) did very well during this time.  I also noticed (not my customers) other shops almost demanding their customers support during the pandemic because in the past that shop donated to the customers’ children’s sports team, etc.  They were obviously not doing so well. Insisting people should support them was not the way to go about it.

I am a very small business and I appreciate my customers so very much.  I know you do not owe me your business or your loyalty but always know that I do not take it for granted.

I hope going forward we all continue to survive and hopefully thrive.  Have a wonderful July 4th!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Adversity

100_0580Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant. ~Horace

I just wanted to share what some of my wonderful customers are doing during this difficult time of isolation for the masses.  I thought you might want to try it as well.

–  Several are offering to pick up their customers’ vehicles, service and return them. I think if I was a health care professional at this time, I would so appreciate that kindness! Many others would as well.

–  A few have even offered to pick up medicine and food and other supplies to those shut in and deliver them to the customer’s door.

–  I think it is wonderful how many are saying they are disinfecting the steering wheel, etc, after they have worked on their customers’ vehicles (and many say this is normal procedure) and of course the service counter as well.

These customers didn’t wait weeks to get these messages out!  They reacted fast!  Congratulations to you all for being proactive on making our world that much healthier and safer.

News Works Marketing is still open and operating normally so if you need us, just give us a shout!

Wishing you all health and prosperity!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Don’t Be Shy…Introduce Yourself!

100_0580In a five-mail radius of my home, we have several chain repair shops that “do it all”.  Recently I noticed two independents have started business in the area.  They never seem busy and I hope it isn’t a case of “We put up a sign so customers will come!”

They don’t have websites or social media pages and I have not received a mailing.  Consumers these days want to find out about a place before they come in for service or repair.  The interesting thing is, the chain stores are not at all shy about sending me mailers, including coupon books good for one year and postcards.  I am not a customer, but they are forever hopeful.

Make sure you are the first in the neighborhood to greet new movers or introduce yourself now and then to the area to remind them what wonderful services you offer and that they are always welcome to give you a try!

If you need help, give us a call!

I hope you all have an amazingly good year!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Referrals

Rhonda HiltbrandLoyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you. – Chip Bell

When a customer refers you to a friend it is wonderful.  The tricky part is to make sure the referral is as excited about your service as your loyal customer is.  That should be easy, right?  Well…not always.

I recommended a family member to my service and repair shop the other day for brake work.  I had my vehicle in for repair two weeks prior and my husband had his in for brakes just the week before.  They got the work done in both cases in record time.  They called with an estimate in about half an hour and the work was completed in about three to four.

I mentioned it in passing to a family member and they said they needed brake service, and would I recommend they go there.  I said yes, of course.  I even offered to help by meeting him there and driving him back home.  I said they are super-fast!  I should be back to pick him up around noon if we get his vehicle there by 8:00.

The estimate call came in quickly and then the wait began.  I know they close at 6:00 and the family member lives a half hour away from me and this was Good Friday besides.  Traffic would be intense. When 4:00 rolled around I called the shop.  They apologized profusely, said the vehicle had been ready for some time but a staff member was off and the person that was supposed to call forgot.  Yikes!  Thankfully we got the vehicle and they did wonderful work as always.

It seems whenever I recommend a business to someone, even if it is a restaurant, something goes wrong.  A few years ago, I even took friends to a favorite restaurant and it was an awful experience for all of us.  The staff was completely off their game that day.  I had never had it happen before or since, but my friends said they would never go there again.  Sigh…

If you are a great shop and you have loyal customers, but they don’t refer you, it might not have anything to do with you and your staff.  They may just be afraid due to a bad experience elsewhere. Should you be fortunate enough to have referrals, do your very best to make it the best experience ever.

Most likely this doesn’t apply to you, but in the off chance, I thought I would share it.

Have a great week!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Attitude

Rhonda HiltbrandWork is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun. ~Colleen C. Barrett

I was thinking about the face of businesses.  Many times, the person we deal with in business is not the owner…but the employee who has become the “face of the business” for the consumer at that moment.  It is important to be a happy face with a great attitude that shines through.

I have no less than six grocery stores a mile from my home.  Sometimes I check myself out, but not always.  Of the six stores, one has wonderful items, but two particularly grumpy checkout ladies.  When I say, “Good morning! How are you, today?”  I get the rundown on how miserable their life is working at that store.  I always listen and say that I hope things improve.  I also mentally shake myself off when I leave the store and get myself in a happier state of mind.

The other stores have the most cheerful people working there.  One particularly hires older adults, and many have health issues (no, they don’t talk about their health, but one has an oxygen tank attached so…), but they are as cheerful as they can be.  You leave their presence and the store feeling great and uplifted.

Service advisors have the power to make the customers they deal with leave the shop feeling great and uplifted.  Always be that person!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Gratitude

Rhonda HiltbrandTo speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. ~Johannes A. Gaertner

I have been hearing a lot about gratitude lately on the news and reading about it in articles.  When people are stressed and feeling anxious, they are always advised to write down what they are grateful for…to count their blessings.

Many of us gather together on Thanksgiving with family and friends and take a moment to count our blessings at that time.  Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to be mindful of our blessings every single day?  It would make us a more positive people.

I want all of you to know that I am very thankful for you.  You have all been a blessing to me professionally and personally.  I am grateful for my suppliers who enable me to have the business that I do.  I am thankful for my employees and know I would be nothing without them. I am thankful for family and friends who surround me with their love and support.

I hope each of you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Customers Aren’t Always Right

Rhonda HiltbrandI recently had an interesting conversation with a 16 year-old that works for a fast food chicken sandwich restaurant.  He was telling me that they have a man who comes in once a week, and orders a combo meal.  He then complains about the meal, so he is given a coupon for a free one next time.  He goes through this routine every week.  I was amazed and asked why they let him get by with it.  He said it is their policy (not widely known) and everyone who works there knows what the guy is doing, but they don’t want the hassle of correcting him.

I have customers who are devastated when they get an unfair, unkind review online.  They ask me what they should do.  They panic! I look at all their reviews and they are glowing…except for the one “mean” one.  I tell them to ask (online) the disgruntled customer to call them directly, or to stop in.  That gets it off the Internet and shows caring to any other reader.

I do notice one thing in common…it is always a complaint about the pricing first…then maybe the work.  I feel that makes it a pricing issue.  They want something for free and feel if they go online and make a fuss about it, the shop owner will cut them a deal just to keep them quiet.  The customer probably does this over and over again at different repair shops.  It is obvious that they knew the price before they said, “go ahead” so…

If this ever happens to you, and they do come in and talk to you, determine if this is just a “money-grab” or a real complaint about the service/repair job.  Of course, if the service/repair was incorrect, make it right!  If it was really about the money, ask why they gave permission to proceed with the job.

I am mostly writing this to say, should this happen to you, don’t be devastated.  There are people out there who almost make it a profession to “get something for nothing” due to the convenience of online complaining.  Don’t let it tear you or your staff apart.  You know you are great, I know you are great, and most importantly, from the majority of the glowing reviews, your customers know it, too.

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing