4 June, 2020
OPINION: The other virus affecting us
The Other Virus
As coronavirus restrictions start to ease across Queensland, lots of businesses will start to come out of hibernation.
The challenge for businesses is that they won't be picking up from where they left off, they will need to start slowly and build up, almost as if starting from anew.
Estimates are that one in three new small businesses in Australia fails in their first year of operation, two out of four by the end of the second year, and three out of four by the fifth year.
When businesses start to reopen they're going to be looking for their loyal customers.
I’m sure we have all seen dozens if not hundreds of small businesses start and then fail, while others in similar industries seem to last the test of time.
Why do some businesses flourish while others seem to fail at the first hurdle?
Its because there’s actually another disease apart from COVID that effects business from the inside. Big or small, local or national, this disease can make or break a business and once the rot sets in, it can be very hard to reverse the effects.
It’s called ‘Bad Service.’
Last year I had to organise a Christmas function, I emailed six different venues, and I’m still waiting for three of them to get back to me.
Last weekend I rang a local dog wash to enquire about their prices, I left a message and a week later I’m still waiting for the callback. It’s no surprise that I took my business elsewhere.
I wonder when these businesses go broke will they blame COVID, economic conditions or their bad service?
If you own a small to medium business when was the last time you did an audit of your customer service? Try ringing from a random number and leaving an enquiry to see how long your staff take to get back to you?
Same with social media, if someone sends you an enquiry is it being responded to or does it vanish into a digital black hole?
According to business insider, A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.
Negative interactions with a business are spread to twice as many people as positive ones.
People are twice as likely to talk about bad customer service experiences than they are to talk about good experiences. 67% of people spend money after getting recommendations from their friends.
Think about past dealings you’ve had with certain telecommunications companies, I can feel my pulse rate going up just writing that sentence.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your advertising is, if you don’t back it up with amazing service, it’s irrelevant.
So as businesses come out of mothballs and consumers are more nervous than ever, businesses have to ask themselves. If I build it will they come?