When I’m out and about I try to make notes of what other businesses are doing in order to help my own business. Sometimes I see things that I want to emulate, and other times I learn what I don’t want my business to become.
What I’ve found in looking at these observations is that many of the areas of improvement fall under four general headings, and either the businesses feel their customers aren’t noticing them, or they’re just too lazy to fix them. So, what are they?
People want to do business with a well-oiled machine. It builds trust and loyalty when you see a business operating efficiently and effectively. However, many business are just plain unorganized. You’re fooling yourself if you think you can be unorganized in the back office and not have it effect the front office. Your customers know when your business is in disarray, and they consciously or subconsciously discount your services as such. Software like Power BI can help with this, but ultimately it’s the people who work for you, and your business processes, that you have to get in line.
- Going Cheap
If you cut corners to save a couple bucks – your customers see this and automatically think you provide a cheap product or service. I’m not saying you need to pave the showroom floor in gold, but keep in mind what image you want you customer to come away with when they do business with you. More often than not you want to provide quality at a value, not be thought of as cheap. There is always a cheaper, lazier way to do something, but is that the image you want to leave your customers with?
- Faking It
Your customers see right through you. You can’t for a second fake anything that has to do with your business without it negatively affecting your customers base. You can’t fake enthusiasm, knowledge, or promises, yet many businesses try and once again fool themselves into thinking they are fooling their customers.
When you’re faking it the impression is you just want to turn a buck. You become a snake oil salesman who can’t be trusted. And that’s the lazy, non sustainable way to do business. If you don’t know it, feel it, or can guarantee it your better off admitting it.
- Means to an End Mentality
How many businesses do you encounter that treat you like just another sale – just a means to their ends? And how many of those businesses to you go back to time and again.
Treating your customers like a revenue stream is the lazy way to approach service. Give them value, give them great service, and care about them. Once you treat them like meat, it’s very hard to work backwards and show you care.
Don’t Be a Lazy Bones
Like I said before these are the main areas I see businesses getting it wrong. They think the customer won’t notice and thus don’t do anything to correct it. To me it’s just lazy, and a lazy business doesn’t get my business more than once.