Communication gone wrong is on top of complaints on social media platforms if you search for the latest news in business or customer experiences. If you want to read the most eye-opening stories to date Facebook is your friend.
A few weeks ago there was a lady who shared her experience with a photographer in Harare, Zimbabwe. Let’s name the lady Tsitsi for story telling purposes. The short version of the story goes; Tsitsi and her family went for a photo-shoot a few days before she left the country. Tsitsi, paid for both hard and soft copies. The photographer promised he would email her the soft edited copies in a few days’ time. To her disappointment, this never happened despite several attempts to reach him through WhatsApp, Email and Facebook Messenger. The photographer replied as and when he chose to with a simple “Ok” or “I’ll send them by end of day” which never materialised. Tsitsi was literally chasing the photographer who she had paid in full to fulfill his end of the agreement. This got me thinking; do Zimbabweans realise how much damage they are single-handedly doing to their businesses?
How can you make sure you don’t fall into the same trap as the photographer in this story? There are 5 steps you can follow but today I will share 2 of them.
“According to a study, a dissatisfied customer tells between 9 to 15 people about their experience, and negative interactions with a business are spread to twice as many people as the positive experiences.”
It might seem obvious but most business people in Zimbabwe don’t realise the importance of this simple act. In the case of the photographer, if he had been facing any challenges he could have simply communicated with Tsitsi. Unfortunately, in this case, he hoped if he just went silent Tsitsi would leave him alone. It doesn’t work like that in business, you have a service that you promised to deliver and it’s your duty to keep your client up to date. Even if the news she’s expecting is bad news, it’s best to be honest say something instead of nothing at all. It puts the mind of someone who spent their money on service delivery at ease.
CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE
Don’t make your clients feel like they are doing you a favour by bringing you business. Airtime is expensive and you have a customer trying to get a hold of you several times and you continue to let them down? The photographer ignored his client, he was not helpful and his behaviour showed that Tsitsi was actually bothering him. I understand that things can go wrong but Tsitsi just like every other one of his paying customers; is the one that brings the business. Without her this photographer wouldn’t be able to put food on the table. Being an entrepreneur is not a walk in the park; it comes with different challenges and perhaps it explains the photographers’ behaviour. However; it’s not an excuse to give your customers a negative experience.
If you want to stay in business you have to leave your negative attitude at home and bring the positive vibrant one that makes customers keep coming back for more. You always have to remember that a customer can choose to take their money elsewhere in a heartbeat if you don’t treat them right.
One of the values at Batsira is professionalism. Batsira encourages uncompromising integrity and pride in everything we do. Do you do the same for your business? If yes, please share some of the positive experiences that have transpired after customers complained about your business?