Many businesses yearn for improved customer service. They agree on the importance thereof and yet many of them lack a strategy that sets them up for success. Through our research, we have identified nine key aspects that the best of the best have in common.
To set your business up for customer service success you need a strategy that:
Makes the customer the centre of everything
Your strategy must be aligned with what your customers really needs, wants, desires and values. It is of critical importance to not guess or assume that you know what your customer wants, because this forms the foundation of a business strategy set up for success.
Often businesses land in trouble because they assume that their customers’ needs are unchanged and will never change. Emphasis should be on both external and internal customers (colleagues).
A business must be profitable to be sustainable. Two important success factors come into play here; firstly your strategy must be built around what your target market is willing to pay for.
Secondly, you have a responsibility to organise and apply your resources in the most effective and optimal manner to avoid wasting time and money unnecessarily. This will in turn ensure that you maximise your profit.
The most successful businesses include an aspect in their strategy that focusses on getting the right people together and enabling them to contribute to their full potential.
If someone in your organisation has a brilliant idea that could save you half a million rand, would you not want to know about it?
Many businesses miss out on amazing opportunities, because they fail to address this aspect in their strategy.
Creates the type of stories customers can’t wait to tell other’s about… Without you even having to ask.
Attention to detail
Your customers come into contact with hundreds of suppliers and service providers every single week. Do you really stand out in their minds for the right reasons?
Our research has clearly highlighted the undisputable fact that businesses who pay attention to the little things are the ones that are delighting their customers, turning them into loyal fans that are excited to share their experiences, recommend you to their family, friends and colleagues and who cannot wait to come back for more.
Creates epic fans from epic fails
As hard as we try to achieve and maintain perfection, the reality is that something is likely to go wrong some time or another.
Your strategy should provide clear guidance on how these unfortunate incidents can be utilised to your advantage. This aspect is of cardinal importance to build and maintain trust with prospective and current customers.
Consistently improves not only customer satisfaction, but also business results
Practical, implementable action plan
Ideas by themselves do not make businesses better. Without implementation you will not be able to see progress or enjoy improved results. If this is not done in a manner that is practical for your business, it will not be maintained.
Reduced customer complaints
Potential issues must be anticipated and either avoided or at least mitigated. When issues occur, corrective and preventative action should follow to avoid a recurrence.
Customer feedback should regularly be analysed to highlight patterns. This information must be used for decision making and to activate improvement actions.
Improves customer satisfaction
- Do you currently measure customer satisfaction?
- Is it providing you with proof that you are indeed giving customers less of what they do not want and more of what they want?
- Will they keep coming back to you for more?
You should have a visible dashboard to warn you when you need to adapt your course if you wish to reach your desired destination.
Your customer service strategy (or lack thereof) will impact on your sales pipeline, whether you want to sell other products or services in your portfolio to current customers or get new customers on board.
How does your customer service strategy rate on the above scorecard? Are you set up for success?
Solutions To Get Your Business Through Tough Times
We are happy to announce that times are changing and that Start-Ups and SME’s never have to leave legal unattended again!
It is no secret, things are really tough at the moment. South Africa is in a technical recession and consumer spending is at a low. To many small businesses this means that the pressure is very, very real. As a result, cost cutting will inevitably have to follow, and the reality is, that the legal side of things are often one of those aspects left unattended. Resulting in massive risk exposure that could threaten the business’ ultimate sustainability or success.
But everything is not just doom and gloom! We are happy to announce that times are changing and that Start-Ups and SME’s never have to leave legal unattended again!
We have put in a lot of money, time and effort creating a pioneering online platform that hosts standard legal documents, which are the crucial pillars of best practices for any business. By utilising technology, we aim to provide access to trusted legal products and services in order to empower Entrepreneurs.
The SchoemanLaw SME Self- Service Desk TM is the first solution of its kind in South Africa! In testimony hereof, SchoemanLaw was honoured earlier this year as a finalist in the Nedbank Business Accelerator Programme, for the platform’s unique ability to provide access to trusted legal resources that empowers Entrepreneurs, to create sustainable businesses that are scalable.
The platform further addresses the need of effective management of individual needs, such as drafting your will, the management of crucial relationships in business, including employment relationships and contractors, as well as stakeholder relationships in the ecosystem, such as clients, debtors, shareholders, directors and joint ventures. It also allows the users access to personalised support in case of any unforeseen legal incident occurring. Supporting entrepreneurs to effectively establish legal foundations in their business for optimum growth and overall business success.
The following documents are examples of those available on the platform:
- NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement)
- Independent Contractor Agreement
- JV Agreement
- MOI (resolution included)
- Shareholders Agreement
- Various Company resolutions
- Acknowledgement of Debt
- Distribution Agreement
- Agency Agreement
- Supplier Agreement
- Last Will and Testament
- Residential and Commercial Lease Agreements
- Loan Agreement
- Letter Demanding Payment
- Various HR Documents, such as:
- Employment Contract (fixed and indefinite term)
- Generic Human Resource Policies
- Certificate of Service
- Written Warning
- Disciplinary Hearing Pack
- Offer to purchase (freehold and sectional title)
- BBBEE Affidavits (EME and generic QSE)
and many more!
Prices range from R195 and R895 per document if downloaded on a pay as you need basis or R249 / R495 per month on a subscription basis, this is over 75% less than usual rates if traditionally drafted by an attorney. What is more, users have the support of a law firm not only having created, but who maintains the platform and supports each User.
The platform is also ever evolving and completely customer driven because documents are added constantly as customers request them. All the documents are also constantly updated to ensure that they align to the latest best practice. So, never leave the legal unattended ever again! For more information or to Empower your small business today, go to: https://www.schoemanlaw.co.za/online-legal-services/
Effective Business Insurance Supports The Economy
The insurance industry has an important role to play in assisting SMMEs to effectively manage risk and resist the temptation to save money by buying less insurance cover than their actual risks suggest.
The success and growth of small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) are essential to the development of our economy. The insurance industry has an important role to play in assisting SMMEs to effectively manage risk and resist the temptation to save money by buying less insurance cover than their actual risks suggest.
Value of advice to create trust
This is where the value of advice can be clearly demonstrated. Henry Ford said: “If we asked our customers what they needed, they would have said faster horses.”
Therefore, as risks become more complex and costs grow, we need to, as an industry, enable SMMEs to trust us to advise them where to place their hard earned money to safeguard themselves against potentially devastating setbacks.
In every business, customers are unique and face their own challenges and risks. For a manufacturer, protecting valuable stock during storage or transportation will be essential. A motor fleet owner will need comprehensive cover for their specialist vehicles to protect them against accidents, theft or liability.
Insurance brokers have the knowledge, experience and skills to guide SMMEs in identifying the risks their businesses face and choosing the correct insurance products to meet their specific requirements.
Changing environment = changing needs and solutions
Property damage cover, such as fire insurance, compensates SMMEs for buildings or stock, while business interruption cover allows them valuable time to recover without feeling the strain of lost profits after an unfortunate event. Comprehensive motor insurance can cover vehicle repair costs and provide replacement vehicles allowing businesses to continue to render a service after a loss or damage occurred.
In addition, lawsuits can be costly and time-consuming, with exorbitant legal fees and resulting court awards. Liability insurance protects SMMEs from these and similar claims.
Other important insurance products provide security against financial losses, resulting from theft, fraud or dishonesty by the company’s own employees.
Partnering for success
Any business failure or loss can have far reaching effects on the rest of the economy. Therefore, it is necessary for brokers to partner with insurers who understand the risks inherent in a particular SMMEs field of business – a winning partnership to build the economy by supporting the sustainability of our small businesses.
Medium-Sized Businesses Reap Greater Rewards In Tough Times
With prominent industry names being added to business rescue reports almost every week, risking it all in times such as these may sound ludicrous.
We’ve said it before: Diversifying, streamlining and investing in new ventures during the tough times is vital to a company’s survival.
Running a successful and diverse business requires resources, passion and an unwavering vision. Poised for continuous growth, a company looks to its team of forward-thinking, calculated risk takers to help prepare and invest for the future, now.
Investing in the future and creating wealth means doing things right – right now. With headlines such as ‘real estate investments in SA increase by R28 billion’ and ‘the industrial sector is the top performer in the SA property market’, it makes sense to put your money where your mouth is in 2018.
Bartlett Construction is one such company. Wayne Bartlett, Contract’s Director for Bartlett Construction says that the company opened its property division several years ago in a quest to gain more market share and use its expertise to cultivate a robust property portfolio.
“Accelerating our economy through investment is key. While there are still high hopes for SA in 2018, applying a long-term strategy to property investment allows you to reap the real rewards in future,” says Wayne.
Acquiring, building and renovating factories and industrial spaces has been a focus for the company over the past few years. “We have all seen the headlines about the industrial sector performing well in terms of property and this is true. It’s truly sad to see some of the big names (in all industries) undergoing business rescue but ultimately, waiting for times to change and focusing on one strategy is never advisable – especially not in a market such as this one” he continues.
Creating a scalable business in times such as these is key. Wayne notes that medium-sized companies have remained notably robust by ensuring just the right amount of resources to remain lean, yet effective.
“The economic downturn has had significant impact on both big and small companies. Companies with high overheads, many employees and massive contracts on the line have been most affected. Small companies, on the other hand, with very little business and resources who rely on business from big and medium businesses have also taken a knock.”
Established more than half a century ago and with Wayne having 30-plus years of experience in the industry, it’s fair to say that he has seen it all. “What’s helped our company through the years is remaining scalable and finding balance. Times are tough, and everyone is feeling the pinch – success is dependent on how the industry performs but we try our best to never over invest or under invest; we diversify whilst maintaining high-levels of competency in our current projects, we are fair and reward long-standing, loyal employees who give us that competitive edge and we adapt according to industry and client needs.” Wayne concludes.
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