There have been many instances when I have been let down as a customer. I’m sure you have a large amount of memories you could contribute, and you may have complained about them, got redress and even eventually gained from the situation!
As a business, it’s not a good thing to fail to provide your customers with a satisfactory service. This phenomenon starts from the very beginning, like turning up on time for a meeting or discussion, or to provide a quote for a job. Failure this early in the proceedings does not position the company favourably in the customer’s mind, and may even contribute to distrust and rejection.
It is also generally acceptable that the business representative knows something about the job in question, and can talk sensibly and knowledgeably about it. When the customer asks questions to satisfy their confidence in the business and its ability to complete the job satisfactorily and effectively, it is more reassuring to be provided with suitable information that proves the capabilities and expertise required will be supplied. Here honesty and transparency will stand you in good stead, rather than a slick, fancy, jargon-filled spiel that bamboozles and distracts from the matter at hand.
Knowing the processes for the job or service provided, so a suitable timeframe can be offered for completion, or even the various milestones that are required to be achieved as the job progresses, will help towards customer reassurance. Vagueness and dismissal of this portion of business management will not provide a sense of organisation, skill or effectiveness. Customers like to know what is going on, do not take kindly to being fobbed off or given a load of excuses, or being left stranded or abandoned in the middle of the process.
Of course all best laid plans don’t always go as hoped, and there may be delays or changes in the situation. The best policy is to come clean, and explain to your customers the problem you’ve got, and if possible what you are going to do about it, or the processes you have put in place to sort out the situation. Leaving them in the dark will undermine their trust in you, your business and your ability to deliver the goods. It causes resentment, distrust and confusion, and distraught and neglected customers aren’t going to speak highly of your services, or refer your business to their friends and associates.
It is a shame that so many businesses have these problems. It is a result of lack of planning, working out adequate processes, creating suitable schedules and having an appropriate customer communication strategy in place. This also goes for payment procedures, and allocating services to outsourced facilities to aid the functionality of the business. This proves you can’t run a business on a wing and a prayer, especially if you wish to grow and flourish properly.