Telling it as it is…

I had to smile when I walked past a showroom recently that was displaying a sign that read – “We look terrible as they measured the new windows wrong”.

It looked like the company had been in the process of a re-fit and were planning updated window displays, but they had been left bare after it all went wrong.

They could have just done nothing, but they choose to send out a message and explain to customers and people passing why the premises were looking less attractive than they would have wished.

It reminded me of one of the most important things that a business can do, but one that many simply forget to do or just never get around to doing as they are too busy.

It’s letting your customers know exactly what’s going on.

The classic case is when there is some sort of problem, with maybe an order or a delivery for example. How many times has someone you have been dealing with told you that they would call back and then haven’t got in touch so eventually you end up calling them again to find out what’s going on?

The answer is probably quite a few times. More often than not, people will tell you that they haven’t called you back when they said that they would as there was nothing new to tell you. Of course, the clever thing and the right thing to do is to call back to tell the customer that there is nothing new to tell them at the moment!

Ensuring that a customer doesn’t start to feel that they are being ignored is crucial. Every call into a business that is chasing something, when a customer feels aggrieved that they are having to make the call, is like the slow drip, drip of customer loyalty ebbing away. Staying on top of all the ‘issues’ and making sure that you are not making your customers do all the work is a sensible way to spend time.

Putting customers in the picture with the right information to make sure they don’t come to their own conclusions is something that should be constantly monitored, particularly if and when you do find yourself with an issue that is likely to impact on the business.

Not too many companies are very good at doing this, which means that if you can create an environment in your own business where keeping the customer well and truly updated and getting the message to the customers is seen as a real priority, then you are going to stand out from the crowd and that can only be good for business.