Four Vital Aspects of Building Business
…That Often Get Ignored
2017 has been a year on the road. Hotels, meals, work and sightseeing means spending lots of time being someone else’s customer. More often than not the service I receive falls short in simple, but very important areas. Here are four ways to improve how people perceive your business.
It’s simple, yet somehow forgotten. When someone sends you an email, respond that day with a simple message letting them know you received it. Even if you don’t have an answer yet, it’s good business to let someone know you’ve “got it” and will be back to them before _____. If you miss a call and someone leaves a message it should be returned within 24 hours. Businesses which routinely fail to answer phones lose a LOT of business. Those who place a low urgency on returning missed calls are dying a slow death.
On my last business trip to New York, the air conditioning in my room stopped working. I called the front desk and they said they would send someone right up. Two hours later I went down to see why no one had responded. Instead of admitting they forgot, they told me they never received my request! I found it insulting that they thought I was dumb enough to believe their excuse.
Every business makes mistakes. Most customers understand that and will accept the proper response. Deferring accountability or creating excuses is a huge mistake because it rarely fools an unhappy customer. By owning up to your mistakes and finding the proper solution, you can turn a negative into a positive. You’ll also have a much better chance of avoiding negative social media reviews.
Sometimes businesses are just too busy to provide immediate help to another customer. But ignoring them while they continue to work with others is a huge mistake and demonstrates indifference. Making simple eye contact and letting the customer know how long their wait will be goes a long way in busy times.
It seems like the new response when I say thank you to someone who served me is “no problem.” But that response kind of is a problem. I don’t want to feel like my business ever could have been considered a problem for you. I just want you to say thank you, and preferably before I thank you.
The simple things often mean the most when building relationships. Business is about serving others in a manner that motivates them to return. You can have the best products in your marketplace, but if you don’t master the things which build relationships, you will miss more opportunities than you can imagine.