As a small business owner, your reputation is everything. Larger companies have room to disappoint a few customers; their customer pool is changing quickly enough that a few poor reviews and unhappy customers isn’t going to break them. But if your company is just starting out, those poor reviews and unhappy customers can mean the difference between your business taking off or stuttering to a halt before it could even leave the ground.
What steps can you take to ensure your business meets your customer’s demands?
Don’t offer what you can’t fulfill
As a new start-up, every potential customer can be very valuable. While it’s important to close the sale, make sure that you aren’t offering something you can’t deliver. Whether it is a service, a timeline, or something else, being honest with the customer (and with yourself!) can save all of you a lot of frustration during this business relationship. It can be tough to let a potential customer go, but if you can’t meet their requirements then it is safer to let them leave than to over-promise and under-deliver. Integrity is still valued, and they will remember and appreciate your honesty even if they don’t buy your products.
How many times have you made a phone call to a business asking for a quote or an estimate, and no one bothered to return your call? Or, perhaps worse, you’ve hired someone for a job and then have to keep calling them to find out what is going on because they aren’t keeping you up-to-date on the status?
Customer service is a small thing, but the importance can’t be overstated. Returning phone calls promptly and keeping customers in the loop helps them to feel that they matter to you and their business is valued. Customers who feel unimportant will not return the next time they need your service.
With the advent of retail giants like Amazon and others, same-day or next-day delivery has become almost a standard. You don’t have the financial heft to buy your own trucks, but you can still provide great delivery service. Companies like Reliable Couriers offer same-day delivery, and have trucks big enough for even your largest deliveries. Just because you may be a small business doesn’t mean your customers have to wait! Make sure your product packaging is functional and beautiful and you’ll easily wow your customers.
Being on time
Timeliness is such a simple thing, but it can have a big impact. As a small business delivering the finished product when you said you would is a major key of keeping your customers happy and returning to you. Changing timelines are frustrating for the customer, so be sure that if you’re not able to keep your original promise that you let them know as soon as possible and offer something such as a discount or additional product to help smooth things over.
Starting a business has its own list of challenges, but if you can consistently deliver on your promises you can be sure that your hard-earned customers will keep coming back to you.