One of the things I quite often include in leadership training is the need to set aside time specifically for planning. Yet after a recent exercise in frustration, I may need to include mention of setting aside time specifically for ensuring customer service – and ultimately your reputation.
To explain…after a week of trying to get estimates from local yard care companies for fall seeding and aeration – I had called 8 different companies: 2 national chains and 6 small businesses – I was shocked at the lack of response. While the 2 large ones either answered my initial call or returned it within a day, I had to call each of the small businesses at least 3 times before I received a callback, and I never heard back from 2 of them!
Many of us know the sales rule that it’s easier to get new business from a former customer than from a new one, but when a customer comes knocking repeatedly, you MUST respond. It’s great if you’re so busy that you can’t take on new business, but at least have the courtesy to let potential customers know that, and perhaps even have a suggestion/recommendation on hand. It’s a far better way to develop a reputation. Like most things in life, you can choose to be proactive, reactive, or even inactive. But you will thrive, survive or die under those self-imposed actions.