From the Publisher
How do you see your business?In the competitive world we live in, it’s important to periodically review your business procedures. Has the business climate changed since you last instituted the procedures you’re currently using?
If so, do you have to upgrade your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in order to stay current with the changing times? While you’re reviewing, should you look at how you handle your clients?
Many businesses claim to understand customer service and most claim to give good service; however, history has shown that only a few fully understand it. This is an important aspect, and in my opinion, key to success in any business.
A pet peeve of mine is when people don’t return phone calls or emails. Not only is it discourteous, it sends a strong message to how important the relationship really is.
For instance, the other day I brought my car in for servicing. At the service center, they told me they would call me within the hour to tell me what was wrong. Two-and-a-half hours later, I had to call them. Then they told me it should take about two hours to repair, and that they would call me when it was ready. Three hours later, I had to call them again to find out if the car was ready. Not going back there again.
Recently, a contractor lost a job because he did not respond to a potential client in a timely manner. Not only did he lose the revenue, the negative public relations will cost him even more in future business.
In today’s business atmosphere, developing positive relationships is so important to running a successful company. If you develop a good relationship with your clients/customers, it’s just a little easier to work together.
For example, if you have a good relationship with your client, and for some reason, something goes wrong on a project, for sure you’re going to be called by a very irate client. But if you have a good relationship, you can get a second chance. Of course, you’ll take care of the existing problem; that’s a given.
In that same scenario, without a relationship, you might not get a second chance. Once you’ve completed that project, the client will probably never use you again. Word-of-mouth experiences from your clients can be very costly; unfortunately, you’ll never hear about them until it’s too late—if ever.
The business climate is changing. We’re all seeking new ways to keep our costs down while attempting keep our clients/customers happy and giving them the service they want and deserve.
How we adapt will determine the success or failure of our business in the end.