Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Customer convenience

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     There is no argument. Customers and clients are the reason you are in business. Without them, you are pursuing a hobby.

     With this in mind, it follows that your main job is to sell them what they want. That keeps them coming back. Further, you must replace your present customers and clients--sooner or later you need to plan on losing every one of them. 

     And you must always be reaching out to add more. Nothing is more effective today than using social media to rein in new customers and keep present one happy. 

     Example: Sandra creates hand-painted scarves. She began her business by consigning her scarves in high end gift shops. She also created a website where she accepted orders. The business grew, and to handle multiple orders, Sandra hired a part time assistant who answered the phone, posted pictures on social media, and helped with office duties. Sandra devoted her time to creating, and she thought it was a good arrangement. Until, suddenly, she noticed several complaints on social media. Orders were going unfilled. Phone orders and complaints went unanswered--one complaint was weeks old and still not addressed. Customers were annoyed and they were passing the word around the net. Sandra replaced the assistant with someone more attentive to customers.

     Example: Phil operates a local auto repair shop. He has two employees and a single lift. Phil is frequently handling repairs himself, so he let the phone go to voice mail. Customers were not very understanding--some assumed that the shop was closed, others were annoyed enough to call another repair shop. Phil was losing business. Today, he has a part time person, mornings only, who answers the phone by the second ring and handles other office duties. 

     Example: Frank established his restaurant business in an area surrounded by corporate offices and other businesses. He specialized in quick lunches for people on the go. To attract more customers, he posts his lunch specials on Facebook every morning. He attracted even more attention when he set up an app--people could order as they left their office and sit down to their lunch when they arrived at his place. 

     In business, you must provide customers what they want, when they want it. It's all about their convenience, not yours.

     Social media provides a great mechanism to upgrade and extend your business. But you must stay on top of it--it is a daily activity.   


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