Most SMEs are Failing their Customers in this one Big Way

Updated on 4 April 2018

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Which of these customer service and delivery sins is your business guilty of?

  • When contact is made with a business (mostly SMEs) via phone, it takes very long for someone to answer or it keeps on ringing.
  • When messages are left for a call back, many are not returned.
  • The same goes for website-driven or general e-mail enquiries.
  • When complaints are lodged, business owners shy away from addressing them immediately.
  • When appointments are made for quotations, people don’t pitch up or arrive late without pro- actively informing the client.
  • Quotation feedback usually takes too long.
  • Workmanship on average is shoddy.
  • After sales service is slow.
  • Websites are outdated (critical contact information is wrong, or product/service-related information is outdated).

What you need to know about the 2016 customer

It’s important that business owners build a culture of responsiveness in their businesses.

If your business is falling short of delivering quick, timely and quality service, Jannie Rossouw, head: Sanlam Business Market offers important ways that you can start making very necessary changes.

Can you use this information to set your business apart from the rest?

The answer is “yes”, if you can step up and make sure all your staff are responsive to client engagement, keep your promises and provide quality service and superior workmanship. I suggest that you take each experience above and evaluate your own performance against it. This will highlight the gaps which need to be addressed.

How can I entrench responsiveness in my business?

The most obvious action is to define what the service standards are for your business and then to train all staff in service excellence, where after their performance is measured against contracted key performance indicators.

Use every opportunity to request client feedback in respect of their experience with your staff. Every element of the client value chain in your business should be closely monitored. Use the client feedback to openly reward good feedback, but also to apply remedial action when required.

The benefits for your business if you can get it right

  • Satisfied clients will spread the word within their personal networks, hence leading to more qualified referrals for business.
  • In the absence of our competitors, you will have less competition when quoting for new business and upselling to existing clients.
  • There will be fewer client complaints about inferior service and workmanship.
  • More quotes will be accepted, leading to increased turnover and ultimately profit.

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