Business as usual.

When we utter that phrase in reference to our own business, it generally means that we are seeking some level of normalcy. It means something along the lines of,

“Continue to do what you’re doing, because it works”

But business as usual just might not cut it anymore. You see, for most businesses, when we conduct business as usual, no one notices. No one talks about us.

But blog posts are written about you when you screw up. If you mess up, people will tweet about you and talk about you on Facebook. There are plenty of case studies out there about businesses that have failed us in some way, usually in terms of customer service.

On the other hand, blog posts are also written when you do a great job. Exceptional service gets us tweeting and Facebooking.

In fact, there’s a saying (and I don’t know the origin of this) that says something along the lines of,

“If we have a good experience, we tell three people. If we have a bad experience, we tell 3-thousand people.”

Go ahead and look at your Twitter feed or Facebook Newsfeed. You’re more likely to see people complaining and bashing businesses then you are to see people praising them. Apparently we as a culture and society like to complain. We have a rather bloated sense of entitlement, don’t we? Understanding that your customers have that kind of posture and power is important. Additionally, we need to remember that the offline and online are not separate entities. They coexist, and while many businesses separate the two, I don’t think most users create that dividing line, especially as we increasingly access the web from our mobile devices while on the go.

If you’re just doing business as usual, no one will talk about you. And that might be fine, because not talking about you is better than trashing you, right?

Here’s the problem: that sense of entitlement that our customers have won’t settle for “normal” or “business as usual” for long. Our expectations grow over time. We expect more. And what we, as businesses, call business as usual, will suddenly be perceived as “not enough” by our customers.

If you own and operate a small business, this is something that you need to understand. Get people talking, and get them saying good things about you.

Most likely, business as usual won’t facilitate that.

How are you getting your customers talking?