Revive Your Business
The adage “before we can thrive, first we must survive” is quite well known. However, I feel there is a missing step. Once we have survived, then we must Revive.
This is particularly important for businesses that truly want to get out of constantly scrapping for survival.
So if you are feeling that there has to be a better way of existing beyond the month to month fight to “live another day” then this might just be the step you need to consider.
To revive your business, you need to be able to take a very critical and objective view of what it is the business does. Specifically, look at the activities that involve any customer interaction. The question you need to ask (and answer) is “what does my customer feel about this”?
This can be quite a challenge. For many, it is our life and passion and to take a somewhat impartial view can require some effort. This is where some “independent eyes” can help you. By independent, I mean someone whom is not emotionally joined to or involved in the business.
Every interaction with your customer is an opportunity for your business to stand out from the rest.
So if your business only deals with customers face to face, then this is all about Customer Service. No matter what you think your service is like, you actually need to find the answer from your customers. Tricky, as most will not likely be honest to your face, and it may not be possible or appropriate to survey them at the time of the interaction (e.g. Takeaway Drive Thru!!). There are ways to do this to get some very useful information as to how customers view your service.
Lately I have seen examples of price increases but no tangible change in service. This is a missed opportunity. Customers always have a choice, and if the only difference is your price, then you may lose some customers before you know it.
If you are a business that has less face to face contact, then review areas like your Sales Enquiry forms, Quoting, Invoices, Statements. Even Packing Slips and ASN’s are an interaction with your customer, and therefore an opportunity for you to review.
How easy is it to contact your business, get information either sent or viewed on-line for immediate impact? How quickly do you respond to enquiries? Do you have a service standard around this and is it attached to a KPI?
Every time your customer deals with you, either face to face, on-line or via some other media, remember, it is your opportunity to “shine” in the customer’s eyes.
This review is about finding ways to revive your business and improve your offering by the way you interact with your customer.
If the step of Revive is missed, then it is most unlikely you will ever Thrive.
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