Tonight I caught up with a friend of mine who finished writing her first book and just needs it edited. The problem? She keeps finding editors who have horrible communication or charge full price for a half edit…..No bueno
Bad service or a decline of product quality may be the result of a one-time mishap, or even temporarily strained resources. However, neither reason is excusable when your customers are dissatisfied. Lucky for you a one off won’t likely lead to your ruin. Was it really just a one off though?
The problem is when your business is struggling (for whatever reason) and your customers start to feel your struggle repeatedly. After you provide lack luster service just a 2nd time, even your favorite customers may not forgive you.
What could your struggle look like? –> Your waitress called out, now it takes 30 minutes just to be asked if I want a glass of water! Your vendor quit, now it took 5 weeks for you to ship a special makeup brush that used to ship in 2 days! Now my favorite mac and cheese tastes like oodles and noodles and powder Cheetos because you had to go with a cheaper brand. These are all real problems that business owners face every day, but as a customer, should I face these issues too? No, unless going out of business is your goal.
There is not an easy solution to ensure businesses soar even in hard times, but one thing I can advise (as a person who’s worked for a failed start up)…. Be HONEST. It can be hard to fix a problem or really satisfy your customers when you’re too busy: (1) pretending your restraints don’t exist (2) trying to pull the wool over customers’ eyes (3) acting as if you’re doing customers a favor
Being honest about some of the items listed below, as early as possible will help you better prepare your staff and customers for changes in service, and help you optimize your alternatives.
- Be honest about your AVAILABILITY (let me choose if I want to wait 40 minutes for water; tell me if you can’t fix my car this weekend because you’re over booked –> better you chance 2 customers not coming back in 2 weeks because you’re upfront vs. 8 customers that never come back because you didn’t want to communicate)
- Be honest about your PRODUCT QUALITY (altering a recipe or product can be marketed as a product improvement or new direction, but closing your eyes hoping they won’t notice is like playing Russian Roulette)
- Be honest about your INVENTORY (let me know before I pay online if my order will take much longer than usual)
- Be honest about your BUSINESS PARTNERS (customers don’t see your partners as unreliable, they see you as unreliable – is a lower price worth you ending up in a hole because you have to pay double to fix mistakes they made?)
Be the business I brag on, not complain about.
consulting.CTaylorGo@gmail.com for your Brand and Product Marketing Strategy Needs.