Entrepreneurship has grown in leaps and bounds, especially because of the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 that has forced people who lost jobs to venture into "hustling" - as Kenyans would call the micro-entrepreneur.
We have seen an upsurge in people doing online businesses or simply trying out new business ventures that they never thought they would. For many people, it was their first time to try their hands on "biashara," and this has brought about challenges and frustrations they never expected.
I shall discuss some behaviors that will give any entrepreneur a free ticket to losing customers.
1. Ignoring phone calls
The majority of customers will turn to call when they want to reach you. Similarly, a prospect may call you when he wants to make contact. Understandably, one can genuinely miss a phone call due to one reason or another (I am not referring to the ones who press the silent button when it's not necessary).
Failing to answer your phone will frustrate your customers and convince them that you don’t have a solution to their pain points. Sometimes your customers urgently need your product or service, and you fail to answer your call forcing them to seek elsewhere. Isn't that losing business?
"Remember, a missed call is a lost opportunity."
The least you can do is call back, apologize and explain why you couldn't answer your call. Many entrepreneurs don't even bother to call back. Even an SMS makes all the difference.
2. Ignoring WhatsApp messages
Stop blue-ticking your customers. For those who may not know what blue ticking means, it's when you read a message and you don't respond. Trust me, people go back to check if their messages were read, especially if there is a pressing issue to be addressed.
This leads me to something called blue tick anxiety. I know you have experienced it at some point. That feeling of being ignored, thinking that your message is unimportant, or wondering when and if there will be a response, is what I am referring to as blue tick anxiety.
As an entrepreneur, you don't want your customers to lose the trust you have built and struggled to gain. If you have no immediate proper response, you can send an emoji as you give yourself time to get the right response.
"There are no lies in the business language," my friend once told me, "We only twist the truth." Others call it marketing.
Many business people fear losing customers because they don't have a certain product or can't offer a service as and when needed. You may have run out of stock, or your schedule can't allow you to offer your services at a particular time.
It's unfair to keep a customer waiting and you know very well you are unable to deliver. Can you imagine the ripple effects of a customer finding out that you were simply taking them around in circles? Customers appreciate honesty, which builds an emotional connection between you and your clients. Know that lies will one day catch up with you and ruin your business.
4. You don't deliver what you promise
Have you ever ordered something and what you got isn't what you ordered for? How did that make you feel? Excited and satisfied...I don't think so! Some business people have mastered the art of exaggerating the goodness and the near-perfectness of their items.
My neighbor once bought a pair of shoes from a vendor who had advertised that she was selling brand new shoes from Turkey. The pictures were very appealing to the eyes. My neighbor paid for the shoes and they were delivered. The shock on her, the shoes were second-hand. Do you think my neighbor will buy from this vendor again?
According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family, therefore, if negative word-of-mouth is circulated about you, it's likely to be very damaging to your business. Let your actions speak louder than your words.
Acquiring new customers costs 5 times as much as retaining existing ones. Try as much as possible to keep your customers happy because, at the end of the day, your business can't flourish without them.
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