I have been exploring local sponsorship opportunities on behalf of a client over the last few days. My starting point was the local Council website which stated that sponsorship arrangements were outsourced to a third-party. I checked out their website and it all looked very promising; even their name, Immediate Solutions, gave me confidence that they would deliver!I duly contacted them and was promised a call back.
Sadly, one small element just didn’t stack up. You guessed it; they were anything but ‘immediate’! In fact, I’ve still not heard a word from them.
Here are a few golden rules that I believe all small businesses should stick to if they want to win customers and keep them coming back:
- Keep your promises – or put another way, deliver what you promise. If you can’t give an immediate response, don’t offer it; it may not even be important to your customers. Find out what is important to them and make sure you deliver it.
- Be consistent – it’s no good having a brilliant website if there is no substance behind it. You may win customers in the first place but you will surely struggle to hang onto them. Think through your customer journey, including mapping out all your customer ‘touch points’, and make sure that each stage of the process works.
- Manage expectations – although some things are obviously truly ‘urgent’, most aren’t. If you tell your customers that it will take 24 hours for you to respond, most will accept that. The truism – ‘under promise, over deliver’ may be cheesy, but it does make sense!
These are all ways that small businesses can often out-perform larger, more complex organisations, so make sure you build them into your overall service delivery.