Your success depends upon attracting and retaining repeat customers. But what you need to remember is that there are two crucial dimensions to consistent quality service delivery - your people and your procedures. Both of these dimensions require your attention
In previous posts we've explored how to hire the right people for customer service roles. One of several important attributes your service staff need to possess is a happy and friendly disposition - no customer wants to deal with a "sour-puss" who looks like they've been sucking on lemons.
- Balance - personal touch and procedural efficiency
It is the efficiency of your systems, processes and procedures that will so often determine whether your customer is satisfied that they received what they were promised, when they were promised it.
If you are getting some customer complaints, or if your customers are voting with their feet and you find that you are not getting repeat business from them, then go back to reviewing your business fundamentals. Where is the need for improvement .....
- Is the design of your product or service itself in line with the core needs of your customers. Ask for feedback from customers
- Are your procedures and processes enabling efficient service / product delivery? Get some input from your staff on this matter - they work with your systems every day and know what's not working. And listen to their ideas with an open mind!
- Are you over-promising and under-delivering?
- Have you trained your staff properly in the use of your systems?
- Are you recruiting the right people? If need be, take a look at How to conduct the job interview
- Are you managing your staff in a way that keeps them motivated, and brings some enthusiasm into the workplace? If need be, have a look at How to motivate employees
So as the manager of your small business, try and get the balance right between a focus on both your people and your processes - and then with repeat, satisfied customers, your profits should flow!