I received an email this morning which asked me to enter a sweepstakes. Since it involved golf I was all ears and quickly filled out the form – name, and email. This led me to a second form which read “Just answer the following four questions and your entry wil (sic) be complete.” Let’s put aside the typo for a second. That request was followed by a form with three questions, not four. After scratching my head, I answered and received a confirming email. That read, in part, “We’re announcing the winner July 31, 2015, until then we wanted to let you know how you can start…” Another typo/grammatical error.
I can hear some of you saying “stop being so picky.” Here is the problem and it’s one that affects anyone in business. These mistakes demonstrate a complete lack of attention to detail. They have me asking myself if I want to do business with this company and would I trust them with my personal information? If you’ve ever run a sweepstakes you know that everything must be scrutinized carefully – the FTC and others are NOT happy when you mess something up. Multiple people must have reviewed these materials and yet…
Ask yourself how many pitch decks you’ve seen with typos or errors in grammar. Then ask yourself how many websites you read with the same sorts of mistakes. I get apps updating every day for “bug fixes.” Sometimes they’re just fixing things that should have been caught in the testing and quality control phases of development. You can’t QC something by releasing it, not if you expect to keep a customer base.
I don’t mean to be harsh here but the devil really is in the details. To me this stuff is like going on a job interview dressed in a t-shirt and cutoffs. It’s a horrible first impression, one that is usually disqualifying.
As businesspeople, standards are one of the few things we CAN control. We need to make sure everyone on the team is clear about the standards and then we need to hold them to those standards, especially when we’re dealing with marketing materials or anything else destined for external viewing.
Details matter. You can call that picky. I call it putting your best foot forward. Do you agree?