As a programme director of various radio stations in my time, I’ve often said to the teams I’ve worked with that there is an invisible sign above the door: The Vanguards of Quality!

It was never an official motto, but one I worked with -and still work with today.

You too could be a vanguard of quality!

This is where I bring in my ‘M&S theory’.

Marks and Spencer are renowned for their approach to quality goods and service. You know exactly what you’re going to get when you shop at M&S. (Other top-notch stores are available!) The bar is always high and there’s a level of consistency that we expect and receive.  In fact, I’d say that we take that quality for granted. It’s only when there’s a slight change to that quality that we notice.

I’d also like my customers to take my quality for granted! I strive to maintain a consistent level of good service that my clients expect and deserve.

You could call it professionalism or attention to detail.

So often I hear and see things that could be easily improved to help give a better impression. Perception is reality and the better your product; the better it’s received.

So… look at what you’re doing and make some tweaks if you need to.

Podcasts: Do they sound like they’re being recorded in a bathroom? Use a quilt and/ or cushions around you to deaden the reverb. Your message will be clearer and easier to hear.

Website/ Blogs/ Social Media: Do you have spelling and grammatical errors? Read everything carefully and get mistakes sorted! Simple errors like ‘there’ instead of ‘they’re’ can really wind people up! Also, try not to be too wordy.

Language: Avoid slang; anything offensive, and anything that will get you into trouble! Keep it legal! Never defame anyone and don’t use language on social media that you’d never use on air. Be upbeat! People like positivity and an aspirational outlook is always attractive!

Audio: Is it too tightly edited? Sometimes, taking out natural breaths can alter the flow. If the next sentence starts too quickly, it jars on the ear. Are your levels all over the place? If your listener is concentrating on turning the volume up or down, they’re not concentrating on you so ‘normalise’ the audio or boost quiet parts.

Music: Are you using music in your audio? Make sure it doesn’t drown you out if you’re speaking over it – and you have the rights to use it!

Images: As with music, make sure any images you use are legally allowed. Using your own pictures is fine as long as they don’t look like bad holiday snaps!

Logo: Does yours look like a child has designed it or is it too ‘busy’? Only you can answer this but get some neutral opinion and if you get a new logo designed, keep it simple and relate it to you or what you do!

Voicemail: What do callers hear if you can’t get to the phone? Record a simple and clear message and if you state that you’ll get back to them, make sure you do! A recorded voicemail message by you is always more personable than the standard phone company option. It’s warmer and demonstrates how you sound. It could be the first impression a potential new customer gets of you so make it appealing, polite and concise!

Concise is a good word!

I could go on, but I hope this article acts as a springboard for you to take a look at what you offer and how simple changes can improve the perception of you and your business to become another ‘Vanguard of Quality!’

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