How to Keep Your Customers Happy

If you are in business, you are definitely in it for the long run. You want long-term clients, high-profit margins, great staff, and all those perks of a good business. While I agree that all these contribute to building a successful business, there is one key factor that will catapult you into sustaining that successful business; great customer relationship and experience. In any business, we always here that customer is king. Without customers, you cannot be able to stay in business.

Happy CustomerUpon this realization, it is important that you focus your energy on building an excellent customer relationship and experience if you want to see your business grow. According to Forrester research, it costs five times more to get a new customer than to retain an old one. In the present era of innovation and technology creating a customer based culture has never been more important.

A pleased customer or an unhappy one for that matter can share their feedback on social media which will have a huge impact on your business. Studies by Oracle show that up to 89% of customers start doing business with a competitor due to poor customer experiences. All these should strengthen your resolve to prioritize and solidify customer relationships and experiences. Here are some ways on how to do that.

  1. Keep in touch with your clients

Schedule regular calls to share updates and maybe receive feedback on the products and services. Make sure you get both the positive and negative. This will give you an idea on what you are doing right and what can be improved to the customer’s satisfaction. An email is a great alternative if you don’t want to call.

  1. Prompt response to emails

Response time is extremely important to customers in business. Quick responses reassure the customers that they are important to the business and show your willingness to help. A 24-hour window is most appropriate. However, if that is not possible, it’s better to give a confirmation reply that you have received the email and you will get back to the customer. This puts them at ease.

  1. Be attentive to their feedback

Communication is two-way traffic. A business that treats its customers like partners, will value their feedback. Your customers should know that their feedback is important to you. At the same time, don’t just listen for the sake of it; that beats the whole purpose. Take their suggestions and feedback seriously and take action on the reasonable requests. Customers will be loyal to a business where they feel important and comfortable enough to voice out their concerns.

  1. Maintain high quality in your products or services

Ultimately, every client wants value for their money; for the products and services to meet their needs. Your business should strive constantly to provide excellent services that meet and exceed the customer’s standards. Be the best company in your field because everyone will want to be associated with a leading brand. Also, give special offers and discounts from time to time to encourage customers to purchase more.

  1. Be honest

Be completely honest and transparent about what the customers should expect from you. If there are any changes in your products and services (positive or negative) that affect them directly, make sure you alert the customers. Manage their expectations; do not over promise. A good business person will under promise instead, so that it looks like they have over delivered. The customer will likely be impressed and contract you for repeat business.

Sometimes mistakes in business are inevitable and so in case this happens, acknowledge the mistake rather than make excuses for it.  Work towards fixing the mistake which will transform unhappy customers into loyal customers.







Common Problems Companies Face

The modern era we are living in keeps on changing day in day out. This has definitely affected the dynamics of businesses and their operations. Technology and the social media wave are some of the examples of the kind of change businesses have to adapt to otherwise they will not be able to compete on a global scale. Aside from these, there are other common challenges that businesses face in the journey of entrepreneurship. These include;

  • UncertaintyCommon Problems Companies Face

It is practically impossible to make correct future predictions concerning your business; unless you have years of experience. The rapid fluctuations in the economy have contributed in a major way to the uncertainty of the future. Despite this, it is vital to make long-term goals for the business and not slack just because.

  • Financial Management

As the profits grow, you will need an expert at financial matters to keep your accounts in check. Mismanagement could be the start of a downhill trend for your company. Truth be told, most leaders and CEOs are good at ideas and critical thinking but they may not be well versed with all the financial jargon as a financial consultant would. Cutting down on costs, profit margins, cash flow, etc., are some of the sectors the experts will advise on and deal with.

  • The Right Employees

Unemployment rates may be high but finding the right match and talent for your business is a big challenge. Each person has a different personality and so trying to merge that and instill the vision of the business into each one of them is the trickiest bit. Sometimes diversity at the workplace can bring with it so many challenges. It may mean disagreement on important issues which will make running the business quite hard.

On the other hand, it brings about a wide perspective of views which can be a positive thing in this ever-changing world.

  • Complexity

We can all unanimously agree that with information technology, some tasks have become easier. However, business and life at large have become quite hard with the quickening pace of change happening in this present world. The challenge, therefore, is how to develop better systems to suit the changing times without being complex. The overload of information on human skills and technology is overwhelming, given that new information crops up on a daily, The task is then to convert this information into useful knowledge that benefits everyone involved.

  • Problem Solving Skills

The value of this skill cannot be underestimated due to the ever constant obstacles that face businesses today. There is need to develop an effective problem-solving strategy to help you combat the risks that come along in business.

  • Government Policy

Regulations and policy are constantly changing and that causes a shift in our businesses. It may vary depending on the type of industry your business is in. This becomes painfully true once a company grows to 51 to 100 employees. The laws revolve around customer data security and minimum wage regulation.

Also, of significant concern today are the environmental regulations that are being made. Once you understand the kind of regulations in your industry, you will be able to find the means and ability to handle the effects that could result from those regulations. After all, government compliance is inevitable for a growing business.

Problems Facing Service Based Companies

While ignorance is said to be bliss, this is not the case for companies or businesses seeking to grow. Leaders are better enabled to tackle challenges that arise if they have an awareness of some of the common problems encountered by similar companies. Once they anticipate some of the challenges, they are better placed to come up with prompt solutions to remedy the situation. A company’s future success is highly dependent on its ability to handle the obstacles that it encounters along the way.

  1. Falling Short of Client’s ExpectationsService

Sometimes a company’s reputation can get ahead of it especially if it is in a phase of unprecedented rapid growth. The best way to go about this is to manage the client’s expectations from the onset. The company should be clear about what their particular services will achieve and what they will not achieve. It is never a good idea to over promise and under deliver; rather under promise so that it looks like you have over delivered.

  1. Inadequate Business Management Skills

Owners of service companies may be good at their fields, but they may not necessarily have the skills required to run a business or company. Each company has very different aspects that make it whole and therefore business development, and management skills are imperative for a successful company.

Company owners should consider getting consultants with expertise in different fields of specialization. They may also opt to increase the team’s’ knowledge and that of the leaders as well in business development which will subsequently increase productivity for the company and amongst the staff.

  1. Employee Dependence

A common mistake that small to medium sized firms make is to rely heavily on some employees for revenue production. Over-reliance on managers to find business for the company is not healthy for the company in the long term. The duty should be equally delegated to ensure that the company staff is all rounded and also to increase prospects and business for the company.

A common occurrence that is detrimental to companies is professionals who at one point leave the company and take their clients with them. If these professionals formed the backbone to the company, then that is enough to bring it to its knees.

  1. Industry Specialization

Many companies tend to focus on one niche in the industry. However, a disadvantage to this can occur when the industry is in a downturn which greatly hurts a company. To avoid this vulnerability, it is a good idea to consider providing a wide range of services as you grow. This not only attracts a large pool of customers but it also acts as a soft landing for the company when challenges are facing one service industry.

Obstacles are guaranteed for every company ranging from management needs, maintaining quality services, strategies to tackle the problems at hand, etc. Once you face these hurdles, you are looking at growth and stepping into a new phase for your company. They are an opportunity for an all round improvement from skills, knowledge, and the quality of the services provided by your company.


Problems to Avoid in a Startup

What Startups should be Aware of

The start-up phase is one of the most exciting and exhausting times you will likely experience in your journey of entrepreneurship.  It takes great courage to venture and build something from scratch; to bring an idea to life. A lot of sacrifices, dedication, and commitment, come into play. Start-ups come with a lot of challenges, so a lot of resilience is required to break through. Some of the common challenges that face startups are as follows;

  • Start up Capital

This is one of the biggest challenges that face start ups. Today many investors are willing to invest in companies and businesses. Unfortunately, most banks, financial institutions, and investors are not too keen on lending money to start-ups. However, even if your startup doesn’t get investors, business owners should treat these meetings as learning opportunities. If this is the case, consider partnering with government funding programs or business programs to get the capitalization required.

  • Improper Planning

It is crucial to have a business plan before you decide to start your enterprise. This is often overlooked, and some prefer to take pants on approach to startups. Having a solid plan in a place gives you a sense of direction, and in case things change course along the way, some modifications may be made. No plan means no vision which in turns means a bleak future for your startup.

  • Executing your Idea

You may have strategies in place to bring your plan to action. What you need to remember, however, is all the factors in play that affect your company are always changing. Business dynamics such as customers, competitors, technology, etc., rarely remain the same, so flexibility and promptness are required to deal with these surprises that spring up along the way.

  • Human Personnel

People are a business’ greatest asset. Some people may decide to take all the weight on their shoulders as opposed to bringing other people on board. It is not a bad idea to get some help because no matter how good you are, it’s impossible to have all the skills required for a company.

Finding employees who fit into your business vision is quite challenging; more so because at the beginning HR policies have not yet been put in place. Different stages of your start up need different skill sets from different people. Building a strong team right from the beginning can make a significant difference in your company.

  • Right attitude towards failure

Building a business is a learning curve; failure is part of that. Every failure is an opportunity to learn and grow from that experience. Valuable lessons are learned which help in the later stages of the business so don’t let those shortcomings way you down. Embrace them and grow from them.

Four Steps From Startup to a growth-Stage Business Organization

Congratulations for successfully starting that new business! Everything is working out well, and you’ve even realized some profit during your first year. Every person should always celebrate after achieving some level success. The same applies to entrepreneurs after taking an idea and turning into a successful and profitable business. Well, it’s time to stop having the same results and start scaling up and growing in a big way. Business growth is not one of those simple stuff that runs smoothly and follows a linear path. It’s a complicated process that requires a proper understanding of all the elements at play. Here are some of the steps businesses must follow to ensure growth.

Focus on what sells best

One of the mistakes you can make is spreading your business too thin at the growth stage. Trying to grow and expand your business into many new markets simultaneously or attempting to do everything for your clients might not work. As a matter of fact, you may end up failing. As a business, your goal should be focusing on your core business areas. What wins the day, in the long run, is targeted growth.

Be strategic when innovating and expanding

Businesses should pivot towards what is selling best. That should be your focus. Don’t keep pursuing what doesn’t sell best. Start by strategizing and innovating into areas that will help in expanding your core business.

Standardize business processes and structures

When in the startup phase, you’ll most likely depend on the expertise and skills of a small core team. However, as you move towards the growth phase, things start changing, and it becomes quite a challenge to maintain the initial level of quality as far as seizing opportunities and impressing clients is concerned. It, therefore, means you need to allow the business processes and products to take center stage to ensure the reproduction of great experiences. You’ll need to utilize technology, employ more efficient hiring methods and develop a business culture that will foster communication and collaboration.

Build your Brand

Many entrepreneurs often forget that client relationship are very key during the startup phase. If you want your clients to have a good perception and think well of your business, you must build a positive brand image. As you get to the growth phase, you must pay attention to your brand image. How do clients perceive your brand? This should be at the center of your business ideals. The only way to ensure a positive brand image for your business is making sure clients get satisfied with your service and have positive experiences. This is where customer service comes into play. Your company should concentrate on excellent customer service and experience, superior product development and client-centric sales plan.