Every business lives and dies by how it manages customer relations. Companies that manage this relationship well can grow consistently for number of years. We have seen this with customer focused companies such as Amazon, Southwest Airlines and Ritz Carlton. Think about the great customer service experience you received from any such companies and you will understand what I am talking about. On the other hand, companies that do not manage customer relationship well can lead to their own demise in a short time.
Communication technology has come a long way from the time Alexander Graham Bell made a first phone call to Watson. The rise of internet in the last 10 years has benefited communication technology by demanding an ever increasing need for speed. As a result, tasks that used to take 20 minutes to download in the early days of internet can now be accomplished in 2 seconds. Financial firms are putting more and more advanced technology to increase the speed of their trade execution even by few milliseconds. Communication companies have responded to this need by developing and deploying advanced technology.
Fitness is a fad for some, but definitely not for health club managers, those who ensure the club is running optimally and all goers are satisfied. Personality and club ambiance are two necessities of a successful club, but how can managers facilitate better advocates, making for an improved ambiance for present and future goers?
The club is a physical place, but that doesn’t mean managers can’t use cyberspace and digital solutions to the club’s advantage. Consider the following benefits made available to managers.
There are lot of limitations on small business, many of which are resulting from lack of resources and size. Retail business owners can only carry certain products due to limited budget and order minimums, service businesses can only serve limited number of clients due to lack of resources and they cannot bid on certain jobs due to lack of equipment and manpower. However, you need to be careful about not using limited resources as excuse for presenting yourself in unprofessional manner to your customers.
In professional transactions, business image is as important as the products or services you provide. Granted you don’t need to wear fancy suits in all situations, but they may be required when you are presenting your clients in the courtroom as their lawyer. Similarly, you do not need graphic laden, interactive website for your business to attract customers in all situations. If majority of customers are expecting a certain image and you are not projecting that image it is going to be difficult for your business to succeed.
Do you remember the time when you were pleasantly surprised to get more than you had expected from a business? How about the time when you were annoyed when you didn’t get what business had promised? It’s interesting how we remember outcomes that have turned out better than or worse than our expectations, but not the ones that came out as promised! Businesses who understand this simple fact stand to benefit by delighting their customers. This is the commonly known principle of “Under Promise and Over Deliver”.
The formula for success in small business is very simple – keep the promises you make to your customers. The relationship between customers and business owner is like an unwritten contract. Both parties expect the other to honor their side of the contract. In it, the business owner promises to sell his products or services at the advertised price with the best possible customer service. In return, the customer promises to keep giving business to you as long as you keep your side of the bargain.
Reminders can be powerful personal productivity tool when used properly. On the other hand, forgetting to use them can be lead to dire consequences. Just ask anyone who has forgotten spouse’s birthday or marriage anniversary or someone who has missed the bill payment. The financial and social penalties you have to pay as a result are not trivial.
Small business owners can help customers overcome these challenges by facilitating reminders and, in the process, improve customer loyalty and sales. You can find examples of savvy businesses using reminders for these benefits if you look carefully. When I go for regular dental visit they usually set the next appointment for 6 months out. They also send me a reminder about a week in advance as the appointment approaches. Most of the car oil change locations put stickers on the windshield showing when the next oil change is due.