Q

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE -

MY busi­ness has been in op­er­a­tion for five years and is grow­ing at a slow but prof­itable rate. An in­vestor, who has a small share of the busi­ness is crit­i­cal that we are not mov­ing fast enough. Do you have an opin­ion? mov­ing too slowly. That will help de­velop a clearer road map and bring clar­ity to ex­pec­ta­tions of both sides.

Both pro­jec­tions should look ahead five years so that there is a longer-term vi­sion and ev­ery­one can see the prize at the end of the jour­ney.

We also have to re­mem­ber that peo­ple’s lives are far more stressed and busy than ever, and some­times when this is dis­rupted with a prob­lem, a cus­tomer re­ac­tion can be strongly ar­tic­u­lated.

I have al­ways be­lieved that part of solv­ing any com­plaint prob­lem is about get­ting into the shoes of the con­sumer and imag­in­ing how they might be feel­ing.

While I ac­knowl­edge that some­times this re­ac­tion can be at a higher level than one might nor­mally ex­pect, as a gen­eral rule of thumb, if you put your­self in the cus­tomer’s shoes, you will do very well at solv­ing the is­sue.

With re­gard to how you solve the prob­lem, I was lis­ten­ing to a café owner re­cently telling their staff that “a free cup of cof­fee is much cheaper than a com­plaint get­ting out on so­cial me­dia to an­other 4,000 per­spec­tive cus­tomers”.

I am sure you are go­ing to say to me that a cup of cof­fee won’t solve it in many in­stances, which is prob­a­bly cor­rect, but my mes­sage is that any in­vest­ment is cheaper than an irate cus­tomer leav­ing your premises dis­sat­is­fied.

Prob­lem SolverSEND YOUR SMALL BUSI­NESS QUES­TIONS TO HIM­SELF@ FEARGALQUINN.IE

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