As I write this article, I am on my way of changing occupation from a manager of a small-scale communication and information bureau. The basic reason as to why I have to look for a greener field is because over the past two weeks my sales volume has dropped by a factor of more than 95%.
Making analysis of the business performance over the said period, I came to realize that loyalty of customers do not actually depend on how good you are at offering what you have. Most of the customers, who were satisfied with providence services at the right time, expected more than the business could offer. Being a communication and information bureau, customers expected among others, telephone, photocopying, spiral binding, prepaid credit cards for their mobile phones and high speed printing services, which the bureau could not provide.
A customer could come for typing services that could be provided for within a short time. The typed work, when needed printing, caused disappointment to the customer because the printer was not of modern model that could handle high volume of work at a short time. The customer, dissatisfied with the printing, opted for a typing service at some other place that provided the much-needed quality printing even though the competitor did not give the fast typing service.
The business could not expand and provide the customer needs by bringing in more stock and new modern machines because the profits accrued from the sales was being used by the owner for his daily needs and to pay me. But as I leave this business (sales have dropped to the point that the owner can no longer afford to pay himself and me), I felt an urge of sharing on how best to keep you customers come back over and over again.
Personal relationship is more than just smiling to the customer and assuring them that you have the best to offer. The customer expectations is well beyond natural feeling of acceptance but goes up to the point of being convinced that you care for his/her needs, by ensuring that the type of business you are offering caters of all the needs that may arise due to the providence of such services as you are offering.
When setting up a business, it as wise to look for means of giving almost all the goods/services that go hand in hand with the business. For example, if you were opening up a communication and information bureau, then considering that a person who has come to have his/her work typed would expect it printed, bound and probably photocopied, and this calls for the proprietor to invest heavily of those other fields. Goods such as blank CDs, diskettes, envelopes, notebooks, pens, will also be expected to be present in such a bureau. If a customer passed by and asked for something he/she expects you have but finds out that your business is not offering such an item, then it is likely that such a customer will not come back and ask for the service, which is already available.
It therefore seems that for people who do not have the required capital to invest in some of the demanding businesses, cannot be in position to invest partially and expect to maintain their customers, but rather, would otherwise go for other types of business in which the available capital is able to provide for. It is natural that customers, when they visit a particular business enterprise, expects to get all they need under one roof instead of moving from one place to another. Unavailability of some goods in one the leading supermarkets in the country I come from saw the supermarket close down, and it required the intervention of the government to bring it back.