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Top 10 Tradeshow Essentials for Success

Tradeshows generate income and improve the bottom dollar. Tradeshows are a great way to meet new prospects, connect with clients, position your firm as experts in the market and gather competitive intelligence. Unfortunately, we often see firms spend thousands upon thousands on tradeshows, without maximizing their time and money to ensure top results. In the past two decades of exhibiting at tradeshows and conferences, I have learned a lot of lessons – most of them the hard way.

Here are my Top 10 Tradeshow Essentials for Success:

1.  PLAN FOR THE WORST, EXPECT THE BEST

Make some goals. Every solid plan starts with clear goals in writing. Goals guide important decisions, helping you determine the best decisions on everything from booth placement to giveaways and provide a yardstick to assess whether the tradeshow was ‘successful.’ Some sample goals could include:

  • Get at least 20 genuine prospects.
  • Ask customers 3 specific things about their business or buying habits.
  • Find 10 good recruiting prospects
  • Talk with 10 industry leaders.


Set a schedule.
Remember, a failure to plan is a plan to fail. Create a schedule for everything from securing your exhibit space, to producing pre- and event-marketing materials, including the day of set-up, etc.

2. DEVELOP YOUR MESSAGE

You have 3 seconds. Three seconds is about all you get to attract attention with your booth space. You need to decide what your message is early on, and use it often and consistently.  Hint: a photo collage of all your past projects is not a message. The goal is to get people to stop, not to explain everything about who you are and what you do.

3. DON’T FORGET TO PRE-MARKET

Send a personal invitation. Reach out to clients and prospects ahead of time to let them know that you will be exhibiting and give them a good reason to stop by. Direct mail can, and does, work in this instance. Offer something cool and expensive at your booth, but only if they bring the postcard to you. Then, because you collect their card, you have their contact info to follow up later. Don’t forget to put provide your booth number! Emails work as well because you can use the tradeshow’s name in the subject of the email inspiring people to likely read your email blast.

Promote the show. Add a line to everyone’s email signature with the show info and your booth number. If you have a giveaway or something else interesting, say that, too.

Make a date. Set up meetings ahead of time with existing customers, new targets, vendors, editors/publishers and potential alliances.

4.  HAVE A BOOTH THAT STANDS OUT IN THE CROWD

Location, location, location. Pick your booth location wisely. Think about how people move through a show. They have to pass by end caps, are likely to visit the restrooms, and will gather at food stations. Be in their way. Also, avoid being clustered with your competitors, and try to be adjacent to teaming/project partners.

It’s all about the design. How is your design conveying your one message? How is it showing the unique offerings of your firm? Attendees will see a ton of booths, all essentially identical. You have to do something different. It doesn’t have to be amazingly unique, just different.

5.  SWAG AND TECHNOLOGY, DONE RIGHT

Everybody loves swag, right? No! Most of us have many pieces of useless plastic. Try and relate your swag to your message. For example, if you tout technology, don’t have basic pens and notepads – have a cool techy device instead.

Moving pictures work. We tend to look at moving images, especially when they’re bright. Your booth should have a big monitor or a bright projector using video to tell your story. And remember, your story isn’t all of your past projects/experience, it is bigger than that. It should be focused on your UX or unique selling position.

6.  PROPER STAFFING

Plan on at least three people to staff the booth. One person should be walking around and going to meetings, and two people at the booth consistently allows for busy times, restocking items, and taking breaks. Most attendees don’t want to talk to sales people; they want to geek out with their peers so make sure you have staff ‘working the room.’

Invest in some pre-tradeshow training. Just because staff have attended a conference before, don’t assume they know what is expected of them when exhibiting (as well as attending). Go over the expectations with staff, review the tradeshow plan with them (see #1 on this list). Take the time to honestly assess if they have the business development skills needed to do well as an exhibitor. In other words, don’t put your most introverted person in the booth just because they are the subject matter expert. If they need to be there, pair them with seasoned business developers and marketers who will help them make connections.

7. MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME THERE.

Have a pick-up line. What gets people to stop? To laugh? To say, “Ok, fair enough, tell me more.” Test your pitch all show long. After the 100th pitch, you’ll know exactly what gets people’s attention — now put that on your marketing materials! Your opening line should engage them with something you specifically have to offer. Do some research and develop 3-5 questions that you’re going to ask of people who walk by the booth, then ask away.

Ask questions. Instead of constantly pitching to prospects, have a real conversation. Be genuinely interested in the other person — what do they do, what are they interested in.  If you’re good, they will actually ask you for a pitch as a form of reciprocation.  Don’t ask how they’re doing.

Take names instead of pushing brochures. How often do you dump all of the printed materials you received before you head back home? Do you think your prospects are any different? Scan their badge or get a business card and mail them something after the show.  Remember quality over quantity; if you take their info vs handing them materials, you now have a reason to follow up with them with materials that are customized to their unique issues that, obviously, only you can solve.

Wear comfortable shoes. Stand, don’t sit —sitting looks like you don’t want to be there. Get your body into the aisle. Just because there’s a table there doesn’t mean you have to stand behind it.

Use the time to gather competitive intelligence. Walk the floor and talk to everyone. You can commiserate about how the show is going and how it compares to others. Scope out the competition.

Build your own party. Who can resist free booze and free food? Rent a room at or near the conference site with wine, beer, and basic food. Pass out invites at the show and on your pre-show mailers.

8. LEAD TRACKING*

Take notes. You’ll talk to 100s of people: write it down within 10 minutes. How often do you finish a conversation and then can barely recall it? Use their business card to take notes on what you discussed as soon as possible. Use LinkedIn every night to follow up with contacts quickly.

Have a system for lead tracking and train all your staff on how to use it. You have likely spent thousands of dollars to exhibit, make sure you get your money’s worth by tracking all of the contacts you have made and any
potential leads. This is the #1 missed opportunity at tradeshows and the #1 reason why you are there.

*Sample tracking tools: CRM database, card scanner, tablet, or a simple lead sheet.

9.  FAILURE TO PLAN IS A PLAN FOR FAILURE

If you don’t plan for an emergency, the likelihood of it happening is 10x greater (note this is not scientific, rather based on personal experience). Prepare a tradeshow emergency supply Box of Everything. Here is a starting list for you:

  • Pens (multiple, different colors)
  • Sharpie
  • Scotch tape
  • Masking tape
  • Zip ties
  • Extension cord
  • Batteries
  • Electric plug bar
  • Post-it notes
  • Rubber bands
  • Tiny stapler
  • Highlighter
  • Paper clips
  • Scissors
  • All-in-one tool (screwdriver, can opener)
  • Medicine (Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, Dayquil, etc.)
  • Generic business cards (in case anyone runs out)


10. FOLLOW UP FAST



The key to getting your money’s worth from exhibiting at a tradeshow is to capitalize on every encounter there. Sadly, more often than not, firms return to the office after a show and get right back to business as usual. It is not surprising, you all have been out of the office for days and there is work piling up! Really, what is the point of all of that time and money if you do nothing with what you learned at the show?

External tasks. The marketing department can do a direct email campaign with lessons learned at the conference, who won your giveaway, or just a Thanks for stopping by email. This is a good time to get prospects integrated into your marketing process. Your business development team should be scheduling follow-up meetings, making CRM entries and sending any follow up information that was promised.

Internal tasks. Don’t forget to debrief internally to improve your processes and make decisions on next year’s attendance. Did you meet your stated goals? Why or why not? What could you do differently?  Also discuss the competitive intelligence you gathered (see #7 on this list). And lastly, apply what you learned. You talked to many firms, pitching a hundred different ways. What did you learn?  How can you use it to improve your firm?


Deirdre Gilmore, CPSM
Founder of Tank Girl Marketing and Co-founder of TGM Development
Deirdre is a Certified Professional Services Marketer who understands all aspects of marketing, from business development through research and operations. She specializes in setting strategies, business and marketing planning, training and coaching, strategic project pursuits, strategy, and brand development.  Deirdre sits on the board of the Arizona Association of Economic Development and received their Member of the Year Award in 2015. Furthermore, Tank Girl Marketing won three SMPS marketing communications awards. When not fulfilling her duties as Sergeant Strategy, Deirdre enjoys spending time with family and traveling the world.

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Five Best Practices for AEC Websites

Having designed hundreds of websites over the past 20+ years, we’ve seen significant changes in website standards and best practices. However, having looked at a large number of Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) firm websites, we’ve noticed that many are not keeping pace with these changes. If your goal is to attract and engage new clients, you can’t underestimate the role your website can play in this process. Whether potential clients find your firm through referrals, networking or online searches, your website is often the first (or close second) impression they have of your firm.

Whenever we evaluate a website, there are five best practices that we consider first:

1. Website Load Speed/Performance
2. Mobile Responsiveness
3. SSL Security
4. Search Engine Optimized Content
5. A Clear and Engaging Homepage Message

Before you say, “Wait a minute! What about design or style,” yes, of course these factors are also important. However, if your visitors leave your site before they have a chance to notice the design or style, what good is it? The five factors we focus on are directly related to the initial experience visitors have on your site. We also know that these are some of the same critical factors that Google uses to rank your website in search results. Let’s look at each in more detail.

1. Website Load Speed/Performance

What do we measure?
How much time does it take to load your homepage in a visitor's browser on their computer or mobile device?

Why is this important?
Research shows that many visitors will leave your site if it does not load within a few short seconds. A load speed of less than 3 seconds is ideal. We also know that Google considers load speed a critical factor for ranking websites in search results. Your website performance is affected by many factors, including the speed of your server, the plugins installed on your site, and other technical issues. For AEC firms, one of the most common problems is high-resolution, full-screen project images, which can reduce site performance to a crawl.

What improvements can you make?
Photoshop and apps like Squash help you resize and compress images before uploading them to your website. Large, full-screen images should be no larger than 1500 pixels on the longest edge, and file sizes should be compressed to less than 200 KB.

2. Mobile Responsiveness

What do we measure?
Does your website layout properly adapt to different screen sizes on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computer screens? 

Why is this important?
Nearly everyone has a mobile device these days. According to Statista.com mobile internet search traffic is outpacing that of personal computers and is forecast to continue growing. In 2017, Google recognized mobile responsiveness as a top criteria for search result rankings. More and more people work outside the office from their mobile devices. If your website is difficult to read or use on a mobile device, they are very likely to leave.

What improvements can you make?
Review your website on different sized devices. If you find it difficult to read or navigate, then it's time to consult your website designer to make some changes.

3. Secured Socket Layer (SSL) Security

What do we measure?
Does your website have a Secured Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate, which allows secure connections from a web server to a visitor’s web browser?

Why is this important?
Unsecured websites are more prone to hacking, malware, and other attacks. Starting in July 2018, Google began penalizing (i.e. lowering a site’s search ranking), and in some cases, blocking access to unsecured websites Imagine how potential clients might react to seeing this alert come up when they visit your website.

What improvements can you make?
Visit your site. Check the URL in the browser address bar. If your site is properly secured, the URL will start with https://. If you see http:// then your site is not secure and you need to contact your web designer to install an SSL Certificate.

4. Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Content 

What do we measure?
How well does your site rank for relevant search terms, compared to your competitors? This is your search engine ranking.

Why is this important?
Getting found online is critical for attracting new clients. When your website copy and content is properly optimized for search engine ranking, you appear higher in search results and get found more easily by potential new clients.

What improvements can you make?
Many factors can affect your search ranking, including the use of relevant keywords and properly written content on your site. Regularly update your site to continually improve your search ranking.

5. A Clear and Engaging Homepage Message

What do we measure?
Does your homepage answer the three important questions critical to engaging new visitors? Those questions are:

  • What does your firm do and who do you do it for?
  • What key "pain point" do you resolve?
  • What is the next step to move forward?

Why is this important?
Your website should introduce visitors to your firm and bring them to in-depth content that will answer their questions. If your homepage messaging does not convince them to go further, they will leave.

What you can do?
Take time to ensure that your homepage clearly and concisely answers The Grunt Test. (Could a caveman understand what you offer?) A clear message is your best opportunity to engage and convert new website visitors.

Ready to Take Action and Take Control of your Success?

It's important to have a website that connects and engages with prospective clients. The five essential factors we’ve covered are critical to your online marketing success! Following the best practices we’ve outlined, you’ll rank better in search, attract more traffic, and bring visitors deeper into your site.

Bryon McCartney
Chief Idea Guy & Managing Partner, Archmark Branding & Marketing
Bryon has been in the marketing and branding industry for more than 30 years and has worked with AEC firms for 20.  His past experience includes professional photographer and video producer where he completed assignments around the world.  When not working, Bryon enjoys golf, traveling, and building with Legos. If you’d like to know how your website measures up, get your own website evaluation, FREE for SMPS Arizona members by emailing Bryon at bryon@archmark.co. You’ll get a detailed review of your website and concrete steps you can take to improve it.

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Five Tips to Obtain Content from Technical Staff

How many times have you heard, “Don’t we already have that information in a different proposal?” or how about “Can’t we just dust off a response from another pursuit?” If you oversee gathering, creating and finalizing details of a proposal then you are much too familiar with these skin-crawling questions. But, have you ever thought of it from your technical staff’s perspective? For example, a Project Manager is likely right in the middle of managing several projects and juggling deadlines – now all of a sudden they need to stop what they are doing to provide you content they think they’ve given you a hundred times. Of course, he or she is going to respond with the suggestion of re-utilizing what they have given you before. On the other hand, a marketer’s job is to tailor the proposal for the client, come up with new and creative ways to deliver the right content and pull the most interesting information from the technical team as possible. So, how can you find some common ground? Here are five tips to leverage your technical staff for content creation.

1. Give them something to start with.
Let’s say you need content for how your team is going to approach the project. Pull a few pieces of standard information that you’ve used in the past to get them started. Then, take what you know from the RFP/RFQ and ask your team specific questions that will tie in to the approach. Here are a few example questions:

  • This project is going to be in an occupied building, how will our team handle noise, safety and delivery schedules? (Remind them to help come up with response that are unique to your company’s process)
  • How will we phase this project and why is that the best method?
  • How will we uniquely meet this project schedule?
  • Do we have anything that we offer for this specific pursuit that other companies won’t?
  • What’s the advantage to hiring our company given how we will approach the project?

Basically, get your technical staff thinking. Now that they’ve seen you do some legwork and are reading your prepped questions, they are thinking about the response on a deeper level. 

2. Interview your technical staff.
More than likely, your technical staff does not enjoy writing and it might take them a lot of effort to get their thoughts organized cohesively on paper. Offer to set up an hour meeting where you can record, type and listen to everything they say about the pursuit. Then, take that information and organize it how you see fit.

3. Offer to help.
Do they not have time to walk the site? Offer to go take photos of the site and report back. Are they slammed and keep missing deadlines? Offer to order lunch so they can have a productive, working lunch. Do early mornings work better for them? Come in early one day so you can meet before the day is lost. I’m not saying completely adjust your work-day for your technical staff but I am suggesting you help make the process easier. This will go a long way and only build a better relationship with your team.

4. Be in the know.
Take the opportunity to learn more about the technical pieces within your industry. Attend conferences and read articles to stay up-to-date with current trends. Ask your technical staff for book suggestions that might help you better understand their world a bit. Take your technical staff out to lunch and pick their brain a bit about what they do daily and how certain situations are handled. If your schedule allows for it, ask if you can shadow for a few hours one day and dive deep into their world. You’ll gain invaluable insight from your colleagues through these methods and earn a ton of respect along the way.

5. Befriend your technical staff!
The stronger relationship you have with your technical colleagues, the better. Also, the more you implement the above tips, the smoother the pursuit process will become and the easier it will get to engage your team. Don’t only go to lunch with them to learn, go to lunch to build rapport and team comradery. Set up a happy hour! Have fun together and get to know each other to gain respect for one another. It is always a good idea to engage with people in times when you are not just needing something from them.

These tips should help you gather the best information possible from your technical team, build relationships within your workplace and thus increase your hit ratio. Pursuing work is a team effort and everyone should pull together and do everything they can to submit a winning proposal. Are there any additional strategies you have found successful to gather great content from your team?  


Ashley Black
Marketing Coordinator, Ryan Companies US, Inc.
Ashley joined the AEC industry in January 2015 and became a member of SMPS shortly after. She is the current Blog Chair and a member on the hospitality committee. Ashley loves traveling, basketball, cooking and spending time with her niece, Halle.

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Surviving a Rebrand

Our firm just went through a whirl-wind and I survived! Earlier this month, my firm went through a significant transition to unite globally under one name, WSP, and launch a fresh brand and identity. Like many companies out there, we have experienced tremendous growth, both organically and by acquisition. Over 80 companies worldwide make up WSP today.

In the United States, WSP and Parsons Brinckerhoff came together in 2014 to form a cobranded firm, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. After extensive research including client and market surveys, internal focus groups and stakeholder feedback, the decision was made to move forward as WSP worldwide. The initial announcement of the name change was released in January with the new brand identity rolled out in early May.

 

As part of the U.S. corporate communications team, I not only had a front-row seat to the rebrand, I was in the mosh pit. January through May has been a bit of a blur. Even though it was a chaotic time, the experience helped me hone my communications skills, think outside the box, and strategize under pressure. Throughout the process, I learned several valuable lessons. Below are my top five rebranding survival tips based on my recent experience.

1. BE FLEXIBLE! Things change often during the course of a rebranding process. Everything from deadlines being pushed up to meet a new timeline, to unexpected projects tumbling into your lap, to technology challenges. You can’t predict the unpredictable but you can plan, adjust and make the needed accommodations to meet the various project goals for the rebrand. Managing your work flow and deadlines is imperative and you need to use a method that works best for you and your organization.

 

2. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNIATE, COMMUNICATE. Did I mention you should communicate? If you feel you are over communicating, you are doing it right. Not every person in your organization digests information in the same way or through the same channel. Some people will disregard your emails but will happily read each and every Intranet post while others may find the posters in break areas a great way to catch up on company news. I can’t express how important it is to keep staff engaged and updated during the rebranding process!

 

3. BE CONSISTENT AND PERSISTENT. When the marketing and communication staff is immersed in the rebrand process and efforts, it’s easy to occasionally take for granted the knowledge we have. We forget that we know a lot more about the rebrand than the rest of the staff. It is crucial that we continue to communicate (through several channels) throughout the process to provide consistent messaging. It is our duty to educate staff on the meaning of the brand as well as keeping staff informed of upcoming key milestone dates and activities. If you say you will send daily or weekly email updates, send daily or weekly email updates. If you have committed to hosting weekly webinars, host weekly webinars. Keeping staff informed and engaged will result in higher levels of buy-in.

 

4. HAVE FUN WITH IT! All work with and no play can make the rebranding process somewhat tedious. Find something unique and fun that speaks to your organization and can turn staff into brand ambassadors. We found Instagram was a great way to have staff interact and engage with our new name. We asked staff to show their pride in #becomingWSP with the tag and sharing photos that included the WSP name or around WSP projects in their communities. 


Superheroes spelling WSP in the city of brotherly love 

 
Our Raleigh staff showing their WSP pride on the lawn

Yours truly in Tempe getting off a train at Valley Metro Station after Pat's Run!

5. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! The rebranding exercise is not something that happens overnight and can be a grueling process. To be successful, it will take months of hard work with a lot of long hours and stressful deadlines. Keeping a work-life balance is difficult under normal circumstance; throw rebranding into the mix and all bets are off. During the process, it can be easy to forget to give yourself some ‘me time’. Whether it is having dinner with friends or family, centering yourself at yoga class, or making it to your child’s hockey game, it is essential to give yourself a break. These breaks will help to rejuvenate you and by stepping away for a bit, will help you to refocus and bring new insights to the process.


Suzi Mein, CPSM 
Marketing Communications Manager, WSP USA 
Suzi has worked for WSP USA for the past five and a half years, has been in the A/E/C industry for over 15 years and has been a SMPS member for over three years. In her free time, Suzi likes to disconnect! She enjoys traveling and outdoor activities including hiking, camping, boating, scuba diving, fishing and SUP. 

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Five Tools You Should be Using

Have you ever been diligently working away and thought to yourself: I wish there was an easier way to do that. Sometimes finding the right tool for the task can take as much time as simply doing the task at hand, the long way.

I’m going to come right out and say that I’m “cheating” and taking information found in the Marketer and turning it into a blog post. Why? Well, how many of you actually took the time in the busy month of December and read the Marketer? Or, how many of you read the article “8 Essential Marketing Tools You Need to Start Using Today,” written by Tim Klabunde,CPSM and tested them out? I am taking my favorite FIVE Marketing Tools from the article and diving a bit deeper. This way, you can learn additional information on the tools and then make the decision if you want to try these tools out for yourself!

1. Mention – Media tracking and monitoring

Mention.com is a media tracking and monitoring website, similar to Google Alerts, but offers additional options and tracks social media as well. This caught my eye immediately because, like most of us, it is necessary to know right away when our firm’s name is mentioned online. (See what I did there?) Tim explained that if you search the website long enough, you can find a basic version of the service that is free. However, I’m an impatient person and this whole tool thing is to save time, right? So, after searching for a few minutes and only finding a 14-day free trial, I decided to do an old-school thing and call the company. It took all of one minute until I was connected with someone who explained that the 14-day trial period turns into a free subscription that allows you to track one name/company and will send you up to 250 hits per month for free. AWESOME!

2. Canva – Graphic design

This tool is incredible for those firms that do not have a graphic designer, if you are ever in a pinch, or if you are in a funk and need some creative assistance. In addition, you can save your final creation in various formats. Although it is a nifty tool, I wouldn’t recommend replacing InDesign or Photoshop with this software because it is free software that has limitations and you’re not increasing your graphic-creating capabilities when utilizing this tool. Also, be cautious – some of the templates sneak in elements that you have to pay for.

3. Visualping – Website page monitoring

As Tim said, if you have ever had to check a website every day for weeks waiting for an RFP, then this is the tool for you. Recently, our firm was working on a RFQ and it was mentioned at the Pre-Bid meeting that addendum notices would not be sent out via email. This meant I would have to continuously check the website to see if any addendums had been made. Instead, I signed up for a free visualping plan and set it to check every 24 hours for slight changes on the website. This gave me great peace of mind knowing I wouldn’t forget to include the very important addendums in our response. The free plan includes 62 free “checks” and you can check two pages once a day, one page twice a day, or 62 pages once a month.

4. Google PageSpeed – Fix your slow running website

Have you ever been on a website that is taking forever to load but your colleagues’ internet seems to be working just fine? There is a website for that! You need to utilize PageSpeed Insights – a tool that analyzes and optimizes your site, following web best practices. This is the perfect tool to help speed up those slow websites! I highly recommend this free tool because it gives you step-by-step instructions on how to fix the issue and analyzes mobile versions of websites too!

5. Title Capitalization – Perfectly format titles

You finally came up with a perfect title for that article or header in your proposal, but can’t remember the AP Style or Chicago Style guides for those titles. Again, there’s a tool for that! No more worrying whether the short words in the title should be capitalized or not – simply copy and paste into the title cap website and it’ll automatically capitalize your title for you! This is a quick way to make sure you are capitalizing appropriately!

I hope that you find these tools as efficient as I did! What are some of the tools that you utilize and suggest for Marketers and Business Developers?

 
Ashley Black
Marketing Administrator, Ryan Companies US, Inc.

Ashley joined the AEC industry in January 2015 and became a member of SMPS shortly after. She is the current Blog Chair and a member on the hospitality committee. Ashley loves hot yoga, basketball, cooking and spending time with her newborn niece, Halle. 

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Five Internal Customer Service Tips to Incorporate at Work

Customer service is something every company strives to provide in any external interaction. It’s what solidifies a company’s reputation and brings them the opportunity for more business. But, in an industry where retention of employees can at times be a struggle, how can these same principles be applied to internal communications with employees, making them feel more valued through marketing efforts?

1. Celebrate Employee Achievements
This one seems obvious, but take time to celebrate the little achievements as much as the big ones, like extended years of service or awards. If you have an internal weekly email, intranet site, or especially a weekly newsletter that actually goes out to customers, mention small accomplishments of all employee levels. From passing inspections and OSHA certifications, all the way to going above and beyond in the field, little recognitions let other employees know they are valued and their hard work does not go unnoticed. Improved morale is infectious and it can go a long way to promote a strong team environment.

 

2. Each Request is Worth Your Time
Everyone has deadlines and what seems like a never-ending mountain of tasks in a given day, but when another department or employee reaches out to you for an unusual request or something that seems unrelated to your department, take the time to use your resources and point them in the right direction. Going the extra mile to find a solution, or even just responding with, “I don’t think I have the means to help you, but I think this person might have some information you’re looking for,” can mean a world of difference. A company culture of helping hands may sound cheesy, but ultimately is what sustains a successful work environment. 

3. Support, Support, Support
When possible, go out of your way to support other departments in ways that you normally wouldn’t. This could mean attending a tradeshow with the sales team or a meeting that doesn’t necessarily pertain to your department, but introduces you to functions of different departments; opening the doors to greater communication, understanding and collaboration between different sectors of the company.

4. Survey Employees Like You Would Customers
Surveys are often ignored, pushed aside to collect dust, deemed unworthy of our time. Consider for a second the limitless amounts of information waiting to be discovered about how the company can better serve and utilize its employees in a manner that begets the most efficient work, but yet leaves employees feeling satisfied and appreciated. Imagine the number of undiscovered ideas that could be waiting for an opportunity to be discussed. All of this information is at our finger tips, we simply need to seek it out and put it to good use.

 5. When in Doubt, Get Back
If you have any doubts about an idea or request brought to you by another employee or department, do not hesitate to simply get back to them with an answer when you have reached a certain conclusion. While, it may seem like the best approach to have answers instantly on hand, providing information or solutions that you may not be able to follow through with could create resentment and tension between employees or departments. Take the time to be certain you are able to help or have the correct information before giving that data to someone else. It is the best courtesy you can offer.

 

Internal customer service is often overlooked but, if executed properly, has an immense impact on employee satisfaction. This type of customer service requires cooperation combined with communication, resulting in departments working cohesively. What are some of the ways you attempt to be internally customer centric?  Or, are there specific colleagues that come to mind while reading this that you might feel particularly thankful for? 


Chelsey Lutteke 
Marketing Coordinator, Sunland Asphalt

Chelsey Lutteke recently reached her one year mark at Sunland, which also marks her first year in the A/E/C Industry! She has been involved with SMPS for about a year as well and enjoyed participating in the SMPS Mentorship Program. Before entering the A/E/C world, Chelsey was a Marketer in several other industries, including: Higher Education, Healthcare and Law.

Chelsey is very interested in intercultural communications and the influence of culture on communication! This urge to learn about other cultures has fueled her passion for traveling, which most recently brought herto Peru for two weeks in June to climb Machu Picchu. 

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