Moments of Truth
As a customer have you ever felt that your supplier is just not listening? Recently my family and I were left stranded in Los Angeles for 4 days by a large international airline that flies from our local airport.
We all understand that situations beyond anyone’s control do occur and upset the best laid plans. However, what is hard to believe is that you have to fight to get any level of customer service and help from these big companies that are great on marketing spin and thin on delivering on their promise when situations like this occur. In brief we had no contact initiated by the airline to help us get home; we spent over 11 hours on the phone to fight to get back to Australia. The offending airline topped it all off by suggesting that we leave 4 of our young children in LA (alone) while they fly my wife, one of our children and myself home, all this when there were plenty of seats available on other airlines.
As small business owners and operators we have a tremendous opportunity to out manoeuvre our bigger competitors when it comes to customer relationships and facing the inevitable “Moments of Truth” when issues arise.
Jan Calzon (CEO of Scandinavian Airlines) in his book “Moments of Truth” detailed how he turned a floundering airline into a major player on the back of customer service. In every point of contact with your customers (clients / patients / prospects) there are moments of truth where you will decide to; either focus on that customer and their needs or; take the corporate line and do what suits you best.
Our recent experience highlighted many shortcomings in this airlines business systems, but more importantly their human systems failed. Their true culture was revealed by their actions (or lack thereof). There was no empathy with our situation; all we heard were reasons why they could not help.
Focus on your customers. Intelligent businesses back this up by investing in their business systems to help create a customer experience that is delightful, genuine and proactive – so what can you do in your business?
- Setup and maintain a database of customers, prospects, suppliers so you can communicate with them in a timely personalised manner.
- Empower your staff to focus on the customer when a complaint arises, empathy can deflect potentially explosive situations.
- Ask for feedback from your customers, survey them or call to see how things are going.
- Setup a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that compliments the way you do business. It is the next must have software app for small business.
Business is about relationships, we all have Moments of Truth – however, by taking our eyes off ourselves and placing them onto our customers it gives us the ability to delight when a complaint arrives.
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Peter Fowler Collins Hume
Collins Hume has over 12 years experience in finance and is a specialist in driving business forward while working smarter not harder. Awarded CPA Australia’s Top 40 Young Business Leaders 2012 he helps make things happen.
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Leo Senese RBS morgans
Leo Senese, RBS Morgans, with 17 years of experience in the financial markets with Westpac, Goldman Sachs JB and RBS Morgans he is a specialist in income investments. His primary focus is to generate tax effective enhanced income solutions.
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Clayton Oates QA Business
Clayton Oates, QA Business, our Channel 7 business efficiency guru cuts through the red tape and helps you streamline your business to make things happen.
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- Business Costs - Are They Adding Value?Aug 12, 2010
- Moments of TruthNov 16, 2010
- Is your Accountant Necessary?May 09, 2011
- Where Has Our “Disposable Time” Gone?Jun 07, 2011
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- Is your head in the Cloud?Nov 30, 2011
- Do Apps – Add Up?Mar 13, 2012
- Future Shock – It’s Here AgainJun 14, 2012
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Meg Nichols EnviTE Inc
General Manager EnviTE Inc, providing advice on the Northern Rivers employment market, recruitment, industry trends and best practice.
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Moyra Burke-Smith AM Marketing
Moyra Burke-Smith, AM Marketing – with over 20 years of marketing experience for both small and large companies in Europe and Australia she is our expert at making your marketing work for your business. In her spare time she makes a mean mojito.
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Roly Barrett Green Up
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Scott Hales Barefoot Telecom
Barefoot Telecom has been in the telecommunications industry for 14 years, working in many different roles for a number of providers. He is passionate about providing exceptional customer service and building long standing relationships with his clientele.
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The Small Print:
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