Tips for small business operators: See your business through the eyes and ears of your customers.
Here is a check list:
Telephone manner :
Do you and your staff answer the phone in a friendly, well-spoken manner, with a voice-smile, giving your name and sounding attentive?
Face-to-face manner :
Do you and your staff appear friendly, smiling, attentive, sincere, speaking in a well-spoken way and with a neat clothing appearance?
Is the area in which you deal with customers faultlessly clean, with zero clutter, neat displays, and clear signage?
Do you and your staff answer the phone within 3 or 4 rings whenever possible?
Do you have procedures in place to give preference to a customer in person instead of an anonymous ringing telephone?
Does your customer leave with a smile and a sense of confidence in your business?
Do you recognise and greet returning and regular customers?
Will you deliver on your promises? Ahead of time?
Will your customer feel they are getting value for money? Reaction to overcharging is often silent and unforgiving. Have you researched your competitors’ pricing?
Are your customers handled too casually? Customers react positively to smoothness and professionalism in how their transaction is handled.
Do you handle customer complaints in a way that keeps the customer coming back? All businesses occasionally annoy a customer – handled well, quickly and with sincerity, the customer will appreciate it and should remain loyal.
Do you give advanced warning of price increases? – it is usually appreciated.
Have you walked in the footsteps of your typical customer as they engage with your business – either literally or in an imaginary sense? It would be unusual not to spot at least one issue that should be improved.
Have you been able to give yourself a tick for each tip? If not, attend to the issues – which may involve setting changes and standards for staff – and re-evaluate as soon as practicable.
This article was suggested by our mentor Stephen Seward