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Butting heads The old adage “agree to disagree” has been tossed around often enough during heated discussions. But if the dispute arises from your customers, contracts, employees or debtors, you need to move quickly to resolve it or face far-reaching consequences on your business. In some cases, it may be impossible to avoid complications. However, there are some fundamental steps that a business owner should take to minimise the impact of a dispute.
Recently, I had quite an ‘interesting’ experience with customer service. I was on a call – including being put on hold – for more than 25 minutes trying to get one simple piece of information from my bank. In the time I was put on hold, I swear I could have written an entire blog post on customer service (or in this case, the total lack of it). While it seems I keyed in the ‘correct’ selection, their internal system was busy and sent me through to a different department. However, I wasn’t informed of this until 15 minutes into the conversation. When it came to light, I was transferred back to the correct department, forced to give my security details again and repeat my issue. Imagine my frustration at then having to be put through to a third department, at which point my patience began to dissolve. It’s not the first time this has happened, and it made me think about changing banks. When it comes to customer service, most people can reel out a list of complaints I’m sure most of us have experienced. What are the simple things you can do to improve your customer service?
Christmas season is undoubtedly one of the best times for businesses. People are generally happy because of the long holidays, and more importantly – ready to spend their hard earned money on themselves and others. And judging from the “Click Frenzy” brouhaha last week, we know that consumers are mad about online shopping. According to a report by Getprice, more than 80% of consumers research online before making a purchase. Thus, it’s no surprise that MYOB research also shows that SMEs with a website were 53% more likely to see a rise in revenue. However, there’s usually more competition for the shopper dollar this Christmas season so companies should plan a range of tactics to attract customers. Try raising your profile via targeted marketing, advertising and promotions to help gain a competitive advantage. They don’t have to cost a bomb – try public relation activities or strategic partnership. In addition, here are 6 steps you can do to gear up for success this silly season.
Here’s hoping your business doesn’t experience a crisis. EVER. But in the event that the proverbial does hit the fan, who do you turn to? What do you do? Now, obviously the type of business you’re in and the type of crisis that hits you will largely determine what course of action you take from both a strategic and a tactical perspective. But for the purpose of this article I’m going to talk generally. The key, of course, is to stop an issue from becoming a crisis in the first place. Swift and decisive action is critical.
For many years MYOB has been conducting half yearly surveys to measure and understand the satisfaction we provide clients such as you, our valued partner. This has provided excellent insights into your experience, particularly around what we are doing well and what we can improve. Needless to say, we have many engaged and frank clients, whose constructive feedback we appreciate. More recently we reviewed our approach to understanding the satisfaction of clients across all our businesses and have decided to move to the recognised global methodology of NPS (Net Promoter Score). NPS seeks to measure and understand the drivers of client loyalty, a direct result of client satisfaction.
I'm surprised by how many small business owners overlook online reviews. They either don't know about them, or they aren't worried about them. It seems often the attitude is that a nice website is sufficient to persuade potential customers that your business is reliable and offers good service. But we live in a time where one bad experience could be posted as a permanent mark against your online reputation. More importantly, potential customers don't just look at your website; they look for peer reviews as well (good or bad). Websites like Yelp, Urban Spoon and Google Maps (and plenty of others specifically relevant to your industry) probably have comments on them right now about your business.