The Cost of Not Seeking Help

On TFG’s Linkedin page, we recently commented on a kickstarter campaign which crashed and burned violently. Worst of all, the project could easily have been a success if only a few key actions had been taken.
Summary: The project was an affordable espresso machine for the home market. Founders just wanted to crowd fund a small production run of 50 units to be made by hand. In pricing the product, the founders discounted their labor to zero. When posting their project, they did not restrict the number of units which could be ordered. In the end, they found themselves on the hook for producing 2000 units. The project collapsed because the cost of creating and perfecting a factory production process was too high. No units were ever shipped.
Their key failing was not seeking advice on their plan from trusted advisors. At the outset, it would be easy to see the project could easily spiral out of control if demand exceeded the 50 units which could be produced. Thus exposing the project’s weaknesses before anything negative happened.
No matter how long you’ve been in business, there’s no excuse for this type of oversight. If you want an honest assessment of your business or strategy, schedule a free webinar with TFG. We’d love the opportunity to earn your trust.

How would a government shut down affect you?

The sequester has hurt some of us.  CBO estimates that 900,000 jobs could be added by eliminating it.  But now we have the very real threat that the government will be shut down this fall.  As small businesses, what message do you want to send to congress?  Do you want the government shut down?  Should the Republicans hold out and shut down the government if they can’t defund health care?  Should a continuing resolution be passed?  How will these options affect you?  Post your insight and comments.

Governmental Regulations

Here is your chance!  We are repeatedly told that governmental regulations are a major problem for small businesses.  Below add your comments—specifically, name a governmental regulation that is affecting your business and how it would help to have it repealed or replaced with your suggestion.  Go for it!

Small Business Issues–How do you prepare employees to be owners?

The Fremont Group is engaged with a landscape contracting firm.  The owner of 20 years is approaching retirement.  He is a “type A” who has run the company without delegating any real authority to any of his employees.  He has 3 competent employees to whom he wants to sell the business but they are totally inexperienced.  One is his best field worker; the other two have worked the field and do most of the sales.  Of them one is more office orientated but has never had responsibility for the books and both have always relied upon the owner who would have final say regarding bidding.

Let us know what you think should be done to prepare these 3 for ownership.  (It is always permissible to assume some of your own facts in order to make your points!)

SMS-NA Consulting Complaints Management Policy–A Great Example!

What should your complaints management policy look like?

Here’s an example of a Complaint Management Policy from SMS-NA Consulting:

 

SMS-NA Consulting (SMS) is committed to providing the highest quality of service for all of its clients, but we acknowledge that there will be times when there exists an opportunity for improvement. It is our goal to listen and respond to any complaints, seeing them as a way to improve our client relationships.
The most common complaints that SMS receives, as a telemarketing company promoting our business service partners, are from clients who do not wish to receive any further calls. To facilitate those wanting to be placed on the SMS internal ‘Do Not Call List,’ we have employed ClientSRV (an independent customer services firm) to assist clients with their concerns and requests. To contact ClientSRV, please call (224)676-7565 or email them at clientservices@clientsrv.com.
Customer satisfaction is very important to SMS!
The SMS Business Consulting Reviews are in! Click the link to read our client reviews and testimonials!

 

As a telemarketing company, SMS-NA Consulting is more complaint prone than the average business, however, their commitment to customer satisfaction, by having a Complaint Management Policy, is clear.

Is your business making every effort to ensure a positive customer experience? Are your employees and management equipped with tools to track and measure how your company engages with customers? Do you have the knowledge, as a business owner, to know what areas of your services or products need improvement?

Feedback and Complaints Management: Global Resources LLC

Feedback and complaints management is too often just something that happens to a business rather than a company actively managing the process to ensure customer satisfaction.  A great example of how to do it the right way would be Global Resources, LLC, a professional service firm bringing enterprise level consulting to the small and medium sized businesses.

  Feedback Global Resources

Making What Your Clients Say A Priority

When it comes to feedback, most companies have no idea how to handle it, whether it is positive or negative.  Both are valuable to corporate growth and are ignored at a business owner’s peril.  It is the true voice of your marketplace—customers telling you exactly what worked or did not work with your service and/or product.  This is information that is vital to the running of your business.  It also can play a huge role in your marketing via the sharing of outstanding corporate reviews and testimonials.


Establish Open Communication and Accountability

How will customer feedback be collected?  Setting up a system to encourage feedback is the first step, so that both your employees and your customers know how feedback will be handled.  In Global Resources, LLC’s case, they set up two channels, an internal and an external one.

Internally, at every engagement, customers are supplied with the direct contact information for the supervisor of the advisors who are physically at the customer’s place of business.  The purpose is to nip in the bud any issues or concerns before they become a problem as well as to avert any misunderstandings.

Externally, after every engagement, Global Resources, LLC went the extra mile to bring in an impartial third party vendor to collect feedback.  This approach means that every comment will be heard and investigated, not disregarded due to the circumstance of a supervisor favoring their employees’ side.  There is also a feedback rating system utilized, which employees are well aware and its existence motivates them to provide the best service possible, often going above and beyond customer expectations.

Has your business made customer satisfaction a goal?  What steps have you taken to make it happen?