by Sheri L. Heiney, ASBC, President & CEO, Prescott Chamber of Commerce
Satisfied customers return to purchase again. Returning customers combined with new customers creates business growth and long-term success. In a competitive, progressive society there are generally numerous products and services of essentially the same quality available on the market at any given time; therefore, it’s the little things that count in making the difference between a sale and nonsale and a returning customer or a one-time customer.
Although a business can offer a superior product or service, all it takes is one small “something” to force a change to the competition. Owners, managers and employees not paying attention to detail send a message to customers and prospects that there are more important things in their business than customers and prospects. But wait … customers and prospects are important! They see and experience the little things in a business that are important to them as purchasers.
It’s All in the Details
A retail store might have messy displays, inattentive clerks and dirty restrooms. A service business might have an unfriendly receptionist answering the phone, sloppy technicians or delay appointments. A physician or dentist’s office might keep patients waiting for unreasonable amounts of time, not returning calls promptly or showing little respect for patients as individuals. A manufacturing business might care little about packaging, on-time deliveries or personal service. The list of little items many businesses overlook is endless.
Attention to detail starts at the top of a business and permeates down to every employee in the business. One individual alone paying attention to details is not enough.
Every employee, regardless of position, must have the same mindset when it comes to the little things that count as it pertains to customers. What might be important to one customer might be less important to another and vice versa. This means that attention to the little things in all facets of a business is important. You never know what is important to one customer — the one thing that might keep a customer, secure a new customer or push a customer to the competition.
Getting Ahead of the Competition
Successful businesses pay attention to every detail in the business. They constantly strive for perfection in all areas and every aspect of the business whether internally or externally. They realize that attention to detail is not limited to employees, customers or facilities. It’s not limited to a sales event, end of quarter or peak-sales season. Attention to detail is 24/7. It is a never-ending quest to be better than the competition.
If you’re an owner, step into the shoes of your customers and see what they see. If you’re a manager, do the same. If you’re not a detail person, then get employees involved who are. Get opinions from outsiders. Talk to customers. Have a comment card or online contact form for customers to complete. Offer some type of incentive if they do.
The mission of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce is to provide leadership and resources to create a vibrant business environment for Prescott.
For more information about the chamber please visit prescott.org or call us at 928-445-2000 or 1-800-266-7534 or stop by the Visitor Information Center at 117 W. Goodwin Street.