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By: Jennifer Dawson
Economic growth across Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow to 3.5% in 2019 from 3.2% in 2018, according to a World Bank brief. There is no doubt that this growth is largely being driven by a thriving small and medium business sector. However, with the mushrooming of businesses every day, business owners must have an edge if they ever plan to feature as one of the greatest CEOs of their time. The hard fact though, is that starting off as a new business or even trying to keep your existing customers happy is never easy. To be successful in business, you need to stick to the basics – first impressions always matter.
The First Impression Means Everything
You have undoubtedly come across the phrase ‘you never get a second chance to make a good first impression’, a powerful statement that is all the more important in the cut-throat business world. As consumers are now spoilt for choice on where to spend their hard-earned money, it takes as little as 5 seconds for you to lose a first-time client. The secret lies in the details: how you offer a hot cup of coffee, the state of your parking lot, your customer service policy and even the type of seats you have in your reception area. You may be offering the best services in your area or selling the best products, but if you fail to present yourself to customers properly, you will find that your products do not leave your shelves or struggle getting clients for your services. Good impressions attract customers, which helps you build excellent customer relations.
The Importance of Good Customer Relations
The price of a smile on a customer’s face may be zero, but it could cost you millions. Many business owners make the mistake of hiring employees and not training them on the nuances of dealing with customers. There are only two rules in business: the first is the customer is always right, and the second is when in doubt, refer to rule one – simple. It is integral that from the first moment, a client feels valued as this increases their trust in your brand. Offer incentives, discounts, and other goodies to keep your customers happy. The golden rule is – it is better to over deliver than to under deliver. Even if the customer buys nothing the first time, the chances are high they’ll come back or market your business to their friends and family.
Present Your Business Professionally
Potential customers tend to judge your enterprise by its appearance. It is a particularly human quality to desire not only quality but appealing packaging. We tend to bypass products that are not aesthetically pleasing even when we are assured of their quality. It is the same with businesses, if your premises are unclean, cluttered and look drab, you are likely to lose clients even before they have had a chance to look through your work. It is for this reason that it is important to ensure that your business outlook is attractive enough and professional to pull in and retain clients. Make sure your business premises are always clean, train your employees to be presentable, friendly and polite, and consider giving your offices a renovation for a new look.
Competition in business is steep, and with an ever-rising need to get new customers while retaining the existing ones, is likely to get even steeper. Ensuring that you’re well presented in all angles is great. Great first impressions will sell your business.