I think most of us would agree “having fun” at work makes for better teams and a much more productive work environments, but if it could also be used to draw in more customers?
Just like people, every business has it’s own personality. Some are all dressed up and very formal. Others are somewhat disheveled and a little scattered and still others are downright a mess. A lot of this is dictated by you, the owner. After all, your business is really a reflection of you and what is important to you.
Part of what draws your customers, is your company’s personality. Think about it this way. There is three different accounting firms. One who displays a corporate image, with lots of glass and beautiful furniture, with the people working there wearing suits and having fancy titles. A second one, who is a little more laid back and while everyone is still well put together, it is a little less formal. Finally one, that is really basic, with no frills, everyone dresses casually and they are just there to get the work done.
Each business might have a little bit of a difference in the service or specialties they provide, but at a basic level, for a majority of their clients, they are looking for one thing; to have their personal or business taxes completed and filed. That’s it!
Sure, each accountant might boast they do it better, have better customer service or are more effective than the other, but the end of the day, you as a non-accountant would never know the difference. You have no real way of evaluating them beyond what they are telling you, because you are not an accountant.
So what makes a customer or client choose one over the other?
In some cases, it could be those other specialties, but most of the time the client doesn’t even know why they will need those. The bigger influence is in the personality the company displays. If I was needing to have brain surgery, I likely wouldn’t go to someone who looked like they just finished cleaning a barn. That person could be capable, but the image and personality they displayed, might not give me the same level of confidence as someone in surgical scrubs. This is same type of evaluation you would make regarding the accountant.
If you were incredibly concerned about your taxes and scared about the entire process of book keeping, you might want to have the reassurance of the image of a more “corporate” appearing company. On the other hand, if you saw this as simply something to get done, and were confident in your records, then that might feel like overkill and you would select someone else. Regardless, part of your evaluation is based on the personality a company presents to the world.
So how does that relate to having fun you ask?
People often seek out the things they feel are missing in their lives. In other words, if I am feeling uncertain, then I unconsciously seek out things I can be certain of. If you are feeling confused, you seek out people and things that bring about clarity. And if you are feeling somber you seek out laugher. It is natural to seek out opposites.
This has been a long year and sometimes not so much fun. In general, people are craving a bit of fun and laughter, so maybe it is time to give the world a bit of this and in doing so, have them notice you in a different way.
Now, I am not saying that everyone should run out and start pranking the world. It is important to not drastically change your companies personality, but it is okay to let people see a lighter side. If you are the corporate accountant, you might share some stories about your staff getting together for a virtual “happy hour” on your social media. If you are the more laid back company, maybe you could share something about a funny interaction you had with a client.
Look for ways to show people you are having fun, and you might find yourself with more people to have fun with!