Business Success is Easy
Well…it can be easy in the bits that are easy to get right.
Take my attempt to find a company to print my folders and interior pages for an IT study manual I sell. I found myself being force to find another supplier after my current one randomly doubled their prices and only told me AFTER I had put another order in.
Sounds easy enough eh? Get some folders printed with artwork on them and the interior pages printed in black and white.
It wasn’t so easy though.
Many companies would print the folders for me with artwork on but couldn’t print the contents. Others the contents only but not the folders. This of course meant me having to co-ordinate two companies and ensure the holes for the content matched the size of the D rings on the folders as well as the correct spine width.
I finally found a company who said they did both but after submitting a quote I hadn’t heard back two days later. I had to chase them a few times and finally got a quote as well as specs for the cover artwork.
When I submitted the order saying it was now urgent they never replied.
Success in business can be very easy. You just need to be less crap than your lazy assed competition.
[gravityform id=”1″ name=”Click Newsletter”]
You just need to be less crap than your lazy assed competition.
Why be crap at all?
If you are going to offer a service, why not provide the best service you can, obviously the companies mentioned above either did not require the work, which I can’t believe or as you say, they just can’t be bothered, which in that case you should give them a wide berth.
I know that if I was asked if I could perform a task or service for a customer and it was beyond me, I would go out my way to try and find someone who could, good manners cost nothing, but by the sounds of your experience, in business today that seems to have gone out the window.
Good point Robert. Why be crap at all? I imagine that if you asked these business owners if that is their aspiration they?d be shocked. I wonder what the discussion would be like if this were a discussion topic at a local meeting of business owners?
To follow on, it is difficult to understand why a business would not return a telephone call or an email message. And yet it happens so often. I had a similar experience with a large department store chain that advertises the quality of its products. They also offer a photography service in their stores ? we had some holiday photographs taken. A day later we called for assistance in going online to view the choices, left a message which was never returned, left another message with the same results, and finally on a third try in a one week period, actually reached a real person.
And then we ordered some photos! Perhaps that was a mistake- rewarding poor behavior!
Good point about not rewarding poor behavior. I do believe strongly that we should provide constructive criticism to businesses that are not meeting our expectations, but if there is no change, seek to do business with others who are able and willing to be more responsive. And there?s a lesson there for those of us in business for ourselves or planning to be.
As a small business owner, what kind of mechanisms can you use to solicit comments and suggestions from your customers?
Just flat out ask ? in person. Ask what worked well and what did not. Or ask what one thing could have gone better.
For a contractor or for a very small business where you provide a service for one client at a time, asking directly is probably most effective. If you have a larger number of clients or customers, a short email message or a letter with a return card might get results. I?d be cautious with Facebook, because even if you have a number of customers as Facebook fans ? do you really want everyone to see these kinds of questions or responses?
So business success is actually not so easy, because you must be willing and able to be responsive to your customers and to communicate with them. And if you have people working for you *they* must do the same.
There?s quite a consistent theme in a number of these posts. Good customer service can be a distinguishing characteristic of your business, AND good customer service is not necessarily always easy to deliver.