I did not want to publish another small business checklist this week, but for obvious reasons I decided otherwise – I also altered the usual title to fit the occasion – here goes ……
Your small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer-, Professional-, Personal businesses – and Skype – will not survive without customers, and you need to get across to them how much you value them – you need to have a clear and consistent internal and external communication strategy. Here are some pointers:
- Deal with the problem – customers who know that their problems are taken care of are likely to be more satisfied with the service and will be happy customers for the future.
- Be sympathetic – some customers could suffer a great deal of inconvenience and stress, as a result of the problems, you need to address these issues head on.
- Appoint an incident communicator – for constant and timely updates on the progress of resolving the issues.
- Keep to deadline – if you set deadlines by which the problems will be solved, make sure you keep to them, otherwise you will loose trust and goodwill.
- Build Trust – if the problem takes longer to resolve, propose smaller steps to resolve the issue any lost trust by your customers will return step by step.
- Don’t create a vacuum – by not communicating with your customers. Otherwise you will learn they can talk your problem up and up, creating another problem.
- Train staff – make sure you have trained staff to handle your customers complaints and problems.
- Build understanding – by openly discussing your problems with your clients so they know what to expect.
- People – avoid putting the wrong people on the helpline.
- Resources – make sure your customer care department has adequate resources.
Have a look at my earlier post on “How not to do it!” – I’m stunned that a company like Skype can get it so wrong, IMO. Your business is build on trust and relationships, especially in these community driven times – neglect these simple rules at your own peril.
For more of my checklists see the Small Business Checklists category and as always please add to my list with your comments, tell us what works for you.