Ep.84. Reasons why you should keep all the people in your business in the know

Don’t leave people in the dark intersections of your business. Communicate.
Don’t leave people in the dark intersections of your business. Communicate.

In business, it is important to maintain good working relationships. As an owner, you need people to work with and represent you to your customers. You also need suppliers that would not just push you around, but are willing to come to terms with your requests. Most importantly, you need to set up a good reputation within your customers. How do we do all these? The most basic answer is to ask and listen to what they would want to tell you.

On this episode of David versus David, we’ll talk about how communication can help you in dealing with different personalities in business. You, as the business owner, need to deal with your staff, your suppliers, and your customers. What if they are not satisfied with your services? How do you deal with the attrition rate? There are things like maintaining your well of clients in your database instead of just grabbing new ones. Is a loyalty program necessary? Or maybe just ask them the reasons why they left your service? Then you’ll be able to do some tweaking with your business and improve your business integrity. As discussed on the previous episodes, there are three ways to improve your business: increase the number of customers that you have by reaching new customers with what you currently have, second is to increase the frequency of purchase that they make, and lastly, is to increase the number of units of products that you sell. We’ll re-learn these ways on this podcast and we’ll also give you examples on how to apply them in today’s topic.

In this Episode

00:00 Opener
00:40 Welcome to David versus David, the podcast for small to medium business owners
01:08 Greetings from the UK and Hobart, Tasmania
01:32 It has been a fantastic day in Hobart; excited to do a podcast again on how to help people get their business into gear
01:56 As a business owner, you must have changed gears so many times
02:07 Always looking to come up with ideas, analyze, and discuss things that can just be applied relatively straightforwardly to any business to improve them
02:24 When it’s you that’s in the middle of it all trying to make sense of everything, you sometimes don’t see the blindingly obvious
02:45 Some questions: Why didn’t I experience that? Why was that so bad?
03:01 These increasingly moved on to the online world where things are more anonymous (in an online store)
03:43 “You’re not really dealing with real people in an online store.” Yes, you are.
04:21 Sometimes it’s so obvious, but when things happen and you end up distracted, next thing you know, you haven’t done it.
04:45 Don’t put yourself in the center of your business. Bring people into it to help you carry that burden, and yet, so many people do otherwise
05:12 An example: David Pritchard’s pet accessory business.
05:54 It’s fantastic that you put people on board that do stuff for you
06:03 They make their own waves on your business. If they’re good waves, they will be huge assets- allowing you to step back and do the stuff you should be doing
06:22 If you think about the different personality types there are, you just physically can’t match up with every one of them
06:53 Don’t give up half your business because people will go, “You’re just a bit wonky, I think.” Let someone else do it
07:03 For the last couple of weeks, we’ve talked about how to make yourself easy to do business with
07:13 Responsiveness and helpdesks may perhaps help keep track of peoples’ questions
07:32 An example of a big online business: Amazon.com
08:05 Their immediate emails once you order ensures you that it did not go into a black hole
08:19 That’s comforting to know
08:33 There are two things going on: there’s you understanding that your order is on its way and not having to ask them when you can expect it
09:15 You’re kept in the loop. There are no surprises, and there’s no need to contact them
09:26 Knowledge and being told things are huge ways to relieve pressure of your own business
09:36 In the London subway, it’s incredibly frustrating when there are faults and the trains are stationary and you have no idea what is going on
10:20 There’s nothing you can do, being stuck on the train, but at least you feel aware of the situation
10:41 That’s what people like: they like to feel awareness; that they are not just floundering without knowledge and without an idea on what is going on
10:50 As soon as they started informing people, the satisfaction rate went so much higher
11:30 London’s railways around fifteen years ago were infamous for not informing the passengers of what was going on
11:46 Now, they have customer service managers on some of the trains
12:14 David Counsell reckons that the greater bulk of people he has talked to for the last twenty years wouldn’t have a complaints procedure in their business
12:55 If you have a proper complaints procedure, problems will be resolved in an appropriate manner for everybody that’s involved
13:13 The right person at the right level can become their best friend
14:32 Do you measure customer attrition/turnover?
14:44 The mobile phone industry is infamous for it: they have so many introductory promos but they hardly try to keep their customers
15:16 David P’s home insurance company would offer an introductory deal but at the end of the year, the premium would go up by 30%
15:58 “You’ve already got me as a customer. And here, you’re making me jump through hoops to cancel my old policy, take out the new policy, fill in all the forms again to get the best deal of the market again as an introductory new customer.”
16:30 David C had a really interesting discussion about exactly this with a customer today
16:42 His customer mentioned of their yearly 10% growth, but they have not attracted as many new customers as usual, meaning they’ve become more profitable with their existing customers
17:02 David C expected a 30-35% growth. A 10% growth is already good, but you can’t continue in that cycle because eventually, you’d have tapped out all of those clients and then lose clients at the other end.
17:23 Your business will go backwards simply because you’re not replenishing the well
17:37 A loyalty program is not necessary. Just deal with the customers already in the database and put procedures in place without having to add the additional administration burden that would be there if a customer service program is added
17:53 Just go back to the reasons as to why people were leaving and where they went to when they left
18:15 Just by slowing that leak down a little bit, he could potentially boost his business by a massive amount and reduce his overall marketing spending
19:12 As discussed on previous episodes, there are three ways to increase your business
19:20 One is to increase the number of customers that you have by reaching new customers with what you currently have
19:45 Second is to increase the frequency of purchase that they make
20:12 Like what we’ve talked about earlier, be responsive to emails, phone calls, and queries, follow-up and follow through
20:45 Third is to increase the number of units of products that you sell
21:33 These are dependent on being easy to do business with
21:47 Higher average sales are also go hand-in-hand with increase in frequency of sales
22:36 How do you know if you’re meeting a customer’s requirements?
23:01 You can build those into a self-serving frequently asked questions section on the website
23:23 Consider reactivation with people who have stopped being your customers
24:03 Some people are afraid of the answer as to why some of their customers left
24:18 Put it like this: if you don’t ask them, you’ll never know
24:50 Until you’ve made that contact and re-engaged, you may not be able to do anything about it
25:50 When you reopen that door, do it on your terms
26:09 It’s not difficult to say to say to people, for everybody to have a good outcome, you need to work together
26:30 Anybody reasonable would understand that
27:22 Doing that would give you a leg-up in terms of respect, integrity, and business relationship
27:41 Sometimes, it is okay to let a supplier go when they push around too much
28:13 Wrapping it all up
28:56 You can find dour previous episodes on our website, www.davidversusdavid.com
29:02 You can also find us on www.facebook.com/davidversusdavid
29:09 And iTunes, where we’re waiting for you give us a glowing five-star review
29:12 You can also like our personal websites David Counsell’s www.infernopromotions.com.au and David Pritchard’s www.d10solutions.com
29:18 See you next week from the UK and Tasmania