Service please!

By David Malherbe   –   Published in Drakenstein Gazette – Friday 28 June 2013

Yóú know what you offer in your business, but to tell potential customers in the community about it does not come cheap.  Advertising is expensive.

Peter Cheales writes in his book I was your Customer, “I am your business’s most important asset.  Or so you tell me in your advertising.  You promise to treat me like royalty.  But your promises amount to nothing.”

When people respond to your advertisement, they are often treated like unwelcome guests when entering your business.  So next time I see your expensive advertisement, it goes straight to the bin.  Remember you only have one opportunity to make an impression on a new client.  Their experience when doing business with you is what will determine whether you will ever see them again.

We often think that selling goods or services cheaper than anyone else will bring customers to our businesses.  Unfortunately you cannot build a strong business by always being the cheapest.  But customers are often willing to pay more for excellent service.

Some businesses sell services, some goods and others goods accompanied by a service, e.g.  fitting tyres on your motor vehicle.  But unless buying something from a vending machine or withdrawing money from an ATM, there is usually some form of service delivery in almost every business transaction.

It is important to remember that the employee in your business who serves the customer is the face of your business.  Did you train that employee how to treat your most valuable asset, your clients?  Actually we should call them guests, because they do us a favor to do business with us.  They are the reason why the company exists.  Without them we have no business.

Because a service is inseparable from the person who renders the service, it is important that the employees who attend to the customers’ needs are well equipped to do so.  Are they friendly, do they have the necessary product knowledge, does the waiter know the menu by heart, do they portray excellence in dealing with customers, etc.?  If not, remember the future of your business rests in their hands.

David Malherbe and Dewald Scholtz will discuss this topic in more detail Monday evening from 19:00 till 20:00 on Radio KC 107.7 FM in the program “You the Entrepreneur”

(David Malherbe is a business- and career consultant and lives in Wellington.  He can be contacted via his web page or at T/F 021-873 0262.)

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