Stuart R. Crawford (Calgary, AB - Business Development Manager of IT Matters)
In today’s world of instant gratification, short attention spans and lack of patience, the one-strike approach to dealing with business is becoming a main stream concern for many small business consulting firms. Add this onto the ongoing challenges associated with employee shortages and an ever increasing demand for services is stretching many Small Business Specialists to the breaking point. We are definitely in a one-strike society!
How do you deal with a customer that expects you to drop everything to take care of their needs? Do you risk jumping to their shouts for immediate attention and risk damaging a relationship with a long time client? Do you also risk not taking care of them and they turn to a competitor that can service their needs right away? Today’s world of instant gratification is leading to a ever increasing lack of loyalty between IT vendors and customers who flip flop their way through a lineup card of providers, calling around to see who can take care of them first and perhaps the cheapest. Is this where you want to focus your efforts?
The question is too many of us, do you even do it to our own service people? Image this, it is Saturday morning, the temperature is very cold out and your furnace quits. You have a regular furnace service guy that has provided you with the best service throughout the life of your home, providing you with a scheduled maintenance plan and reminders about changing your filters and other tidbits of good information. You call your furnace guy and he can’t take care of you during the weekend because his business model doesn’t allow him to react to emergencies easily, maybe he is a one person firm and he is at another emergency call. You can’t wait; the temperature is dropping rapidly in your home. You risk damage to your home if you don’t take care of this right away, what do you do? Many people simply pick up the yellow pages and start calling around to see who can take care of them, and the first guy who says he will be out there wins. Does this happen in your IT practice, if you can’t take care of a client right away?
Reliance on technology has never been as high in the small business world as it is today. With instant and always on connectivity, mobility solutions that reach all corners of the globe and a catalogue of other mission critical services and applications many corporations cannot afford any outages however, many small businesses do not invest in the systems to prevent this from happening either. The weight of the world falls onto the IT Company’s shoulders. That is the way business operates today.
What can we do to lessen the risk of our clients doing the one-strike, your out?
The one-strike society is not going away! The stronger relationships that we can develop with our clients will provide us with the mechanisms to lessen the effects in the world that we do business today. Combined, excellent client services with the tools to deliver what your clients want and you will win in this society.
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