How to Build Business that Delivers on its Promises and Satisfy the Customer
If you want to start a business and your only reason for starting the business is because you want to make money, you are already a failure.
Those where the words of Sir Robert Onyebuchi Anwatu, CEO/MD of Roban Stores and Hotels at the last Enugu SME leadership session.
Sir Robert is a successful retailer and hotelier; a business man that grew his business over the years from just a small store to owning shopping malls and hotels in different cities in Nigeria.
The above topic was discussed at the leadership session and Sir Robert was the guest lecturer. He shared his live experience and how he was able to manage and grow his business to its current status.
Sir Robert is a “professor” in retail business in Nigeria.
In this article, I will be sharing with you how to build business that delivers on its promise and satisfy the customer drawing some lessons from Sir Robert.
Also, you will see;
- Questions you must ask yourself before going into business.
- Three (3) promises every business must keep and
- How to avoid pitfalls that lead to broken promises.
When you sow a seed, you will wait over time for the seed to mature before harvesting can take place. Like in the farming process, growing a business and getting desired yield might take months or even years to achieve.
According to Robert, most Nigerians are in hurry to get returns from any business they venture into, they want to make money over night, but unfortunately it does not work like that in business.
So before you go into any business, you need to ask yourself some of these questions:
- Why do you want to go into that business?
- What are you passionate about?
- What problem is your business going to solve?
- What extra value will it create?
Until you have answers to the above questions, you may not be ready to startup that business.
If your reasons for going into business are;
i. You are unemployed
ii. You want to make money fast
iii. You want to be your own boss
iv. Your friend is doing well in the business;
Then you’re starting off on a wrong part and likely going to fail.
The only reason why you must start any business should be because you want to provide value or solution to a problem you clearly identify and have remedy to.
You must be filling a vacuum, providing value if you must excel in that business.
To help you in answering the questions stated above;
1. Why do you want to go into that business?
Your reasons for entering into any type of business must be clear and you must know who your target customers are. When you have identified your WHY and WHO your business is targeting, you have a clearer direction.
2. What are you passionate about?
You must identify a niche you have passion for. If you love what you’re doing, you will do it diligently, tirelessly and will serve your customers well. When you’re passionate about your business, you will not consider money first but the value you’re creating. Your main target should be excellent service delivery.
3. What problem is your business going to solve?
Is your business proffering any solution to an already identified problem in your society? You must identify a problem your business will help eliminate.
4. What extra value will it create?
The market is already saturated. Whatever you want to do now, someone is already into it but you can be different. What extra value are you going to create so as to draw customers to you new business? Look deeper and sort a problem within that niche, then provide it while running the business.
Three (3) Promises every business must keep
1. The Promise of Value
If a customer doesn’t value your business, they will hardly come back. Always improve on the value you’re creating. Customers are like “prostitutes” they only go where they get better value. Ensure your customers know the value you’re creating and can clearly differentiate your service from that of your competitors.
2. The Promise of Integrity
When you’re doing certain things, people are watching. Try to always keep to your words. Always insist on doing the right thing. Keep up with the same quantity and standard you started with. Don’t reduce your quality and standard because you want to meet up with competition or you feel you can make more money doing so. Always let your action smash your words. When integrity is compromised, the customers trust diminishes and you know what that means. Lack of trust in business kills the business no matter what type.
When integrity is compromised, the customers trust diminishes
3. The Promise of Care
The promise is further explained according to the letters in the word CARE.
C – Stands for consistency, communication and creativity.
Always try to be consistent in your quality and service delivery time.
Communicate with your staff and customers. Let your staff know what your missions and goals are and how you intend to achieve them. Carry them along; they are your eye and your business growth is in their hands, remember, you can never be around all the time. Treat them with care.
Also communicate with your customers, ask them questions on your quality of service and how you can be better. Make them feel important; let them know the growth of your business depends on their consistent patronage and that you will love to see them again.
Lastly, try to be different from others. Be creative, that’s the only thing that will make a customer spend in your business. Add a little icing in your cake to make it stand out from the others.
A– Stand for attitude and appearance
The way you react to your customer is very important. Your attitude towards a potential customer will influence your business growth. Attitude can easily be spotted by customers. If your attitude is bad, your customers will disappear.
Also, the first thing a customer sees on visiting your business is your appearance. How you and your staff look matters. It is said that “we are addressed the way we dress”. Always look neat and appealing to the customer.
R – Stands for respect and response
Always show respect to your customers, it gives them extra value for their money. The customers value their time; the speed of response to every customer gives satisfaction. Try as much as you can to settle a customer within an agreed time or provide more points of payments for those into retail business.
E – Stands for excellence and excitement.
The greatest attraction of every customer is excellence. Getting a customer is one thing, being able to retain the customer is the big deal. Put yourself in the customers shoe anytime you’re dealing with your customer. Try to give your customers the best.
If a customer perceives that you’re excited doing business with them, they value it and comes back. If a customer leaves every others shop/business centre to visit and patronize you, show some level of excitement when you’re dealing with the customer. It brings them back knowing you are happy they patronize you.
Treating a customer well is the most important part of your business.
How to avoid pitfalls that leads to broken promises
1. Over-commitment: In our zeal to meet the customers need, we sometime promise what we cannot deliver. It is wrong. Most times when we strive to meet up commitments, we keep promise A to the detriment of promise B. Have a standard and try to keep to it. Yes, sometimes, it is good to under promise and over deliver but what if your customer is used to this and at a point, you were not able to meet up as usual, notwithstanding you did not err, they might have other plans and already counting on your faster than expected delivery, they might feel disappointed should you not meet up as usual. It is advised to have a stipulated delivery time and keep to it.
2. Pressure from customers: Never try to over-commit to a customer even under pressure. Let them know you have standards and to keep it, you can only deliver within your standard delivery time. Do so in a polite manner and help them see reasons with you.
3. Not being organized: Have records, plan yourself, organize your business and staff.
Remember, treating a customer well is the most important part of your business.
Ensure your customers feels you care. Treat them as kings. Without a customer, there is no business. You are doing yourself a favour when you treat your customers well. Building a successful business is a continuous process. That is why you need to be passionate about your business, if you love what you’re doing, you will never give up. Always be prepared for challenges and never go into business because you want to make money. If you’re in business for the wrong reason, you will never succeed.