The unbreakable rules of business that will help you to succeed

written by Sarah Colgate

Business Tips for 2024 | Helpful tips for tourism operators

October 29, 2023

Customers value a business that meets their needs and that they feel like they can trust.

As a business owner, there are several things you should strive to guarantee your customers in order to build that trust, loyalty, and customer satisfaction. 

Here are some key consideration for you;

1. Quality

Ensure that your products and/or services meet and exceed the expected quality standards you are promising to your customers. What words are you using to describe your products? What type of customer is buying from you? 

Always ensure you consistently deliver reliable and well-crafted offerings that fulfil the needs and expectations of your customers. I also suggest you under promise and over deliver. You want to have a great sales pitch and excellent marketing however only ever communicate exactly what you deliver or slightly below so you are not disappointing your customers. 

How often do businesses tell you they can deliver something sensational when in fact when you experience their delivery or product it’s lacking in so many ways. Don’t be that business, deliver quality always!

2. Customer Service

A lot of businesses no longer value customer service, they believe they are providing the product the customer has purchased so their job is done. However if you provide exceptional customer service at every touchpoint you will connect with your customers, build lifelong connections and loyal customers. 

Even if you are a once in a lifetime purchase for your customers they will tell their friends and family when they received great service. 

What is great customer service? In its simplest form it’s listening to your customers and responding to ensure your customers’ needs are met and exceeded each and every time and at every touch point. 

Communicate well, provide quality products and services, be there to fix any issues and be friendly, respectful and authentic in what you do.  

I suggest you train your employees to be friendly, responsive, knowledgeable, and attentive to customer needs. Then to promptly address any issues or complaints that arise and strive to exceed customer expectations in resolving problems.

3. Transparency

Transparency doesn’t mean sharing every aspect of your business with your customers. It simply means to  be transparent and honest in your business practices. 

Clearly communicate information about your products, services, pricing, policies, and any potential limitations or risks. Tell customers what you or your products can do and what you and your products can’t do. This will ensure you are able to meet your customers needs and exceed their expectations. 

Most importantly, do not pretend to be something you are not. So that your products do something that they can not.  

An example: Let’s say you’re a massage therapist and you decide to set up counselling services to help more of your clients. You need to be transparent about your qualifications as a counsellor, you can still sell yourself as offering counselling as long as people know specifics.   

Building trust with customers comes when you are open about your processes, materials, and business operations.

4. Reliability and Consistency

This is essential in your business. Customers need to know when they can come to your business and that they are going to get the same services and products every time. People generally don’t like uncertainty. We love certainty and we love to rely on things we know. 

So when you are providing products or services in a business ensure you consistently deliver on your promises. 

This includes meeting any deadlines, honouring warranties, and following through on commitments made to your customers. 

If you want to establish a reputation for being reliable and trustworthy in your business dealings this is essential, not only benefiting your customers, but also your staff and your business’ bottom line.

5. Value for Money

It seems obvious to say this, however you need to ensure your products or services offer good value for the price. 

Look at what your competitors are doing and what’s included and also consider your bottom line. What covers your costs and provides good value for money. If you can’t meet the market in terms of price you can add extra value in terms of services or products that are low cost but valuable to your clients. 

Example: A hot air balloon company that flies on the Gold Coast has very low priced competitors. Their products are inferior but to the general public it looks the same. Therefore this company includes a range of extra services like wine tasting, digital photos and an alpaca experience so they can differentiate their products from their low cost shabby competitors. 

Therefore I suggest you strive to provide competitive pricing, reasonable return policies, and added benefits that justify the cost to your customers.

6. Security and Privacy

As a business it’s important to know our customers and that includes getting their information. Therefore we need to guarantee the security and privacy of customer’s information. You can implement robust data protection measures, always handle customer data responsibly, and adhere to relevant privacy regulations wherever you operate. 

Customers trust companies who do their best to protect their data. Tell your customers what you are doing and how you are doing it. Try as best you can to assure your customers that their personal and financial information is safe with your business.

This is essential to building a long term relationship with your customers in addition to trust. 

7. Accessibility and Convenience

Accessibility isn’t about making your business wheelchair accessible, it’s about ensuring your customers can reach you, talk to you and ask questions. 

Therefore I suggest you look at all the ways customers can contact you and make it easy for customers to interact with your business. Provide every channel for communication and support that you and the business can manage, this includes phone, email, live chat, and social media. 

Look at your payment methods, what else can you offer to make it convenient for customers to purchase from you?

Example: I had a tourism business and my online platform allowed for Alipay and Wechat Pay, two Chinese payment platforms, as well as JCB , a common Japanese credit card. I made it as easy as possible for my target audience to book tours with me. 

A few more suggestions include flexible shipping methods, hassle-free returns policies and methods and easy ways for customers to purchase your products and services. This enhances the overall customer experience with your business.

8. Continuous Improvement

As a business owner it’s not always easy to continuously improve your business. However it’s essential in order to grow and change with market conditions. 

Take a step back, look at your products, look at businesses around you and look at ways you can improve. Just small things that need to change for the business to run better and service to be better for your customers. 

Actively seek feedback from customers, listen to their suggestions, and use that input to enhance your product offerings. 

I suggest you demonstrate a commitment to consistently improving and evolving to meet changing customer needs.

9. Ethical and Social Responsibility

Business owners often get caught up when they focus on the money their business can make or is making. I suggest you can operate your business with integrity and a sense of social responsibility. Ensure you are good to your staff, look after the environment and contribute to the local economy or business community. 

Adhere to ethical business practices, environmental sustainability, and social causes that align with your customers’ values. Customers love to see their hard earned money going to more than just a business. So if you can donate a portion to a local charity, environmental association or similar you are helping someone else and also helping your business. . 

Engage in responsible sourcing of products, fair labour practices, and community involvement to build trust and loyalty with your customers. 

10. Satisfaction Guarantee

Customers feel significantly more confident when they have a satisfaction guarantee when purchasing. If you don’t have one, consider offering a satisfaction guarantee or a refund policy to assure customers that their satisfaction is a priority. This will help remove any perceived risk in purchasing from you and demonstrates your confidence in the quality of your products or services.

There may be a range of other guarantees that you can offer. 
Example: In my day tour business we offered unlimited date changes post COVID so if for some reason people couldn’t travel they could always change the date of their tour and not lose anything. This gave your customers a guarantee of sorts and ensured our sales staff felt confident in selling knowing we were not taking peoples money without the opportunity for them to travel with us.

Conclusion

In conclusion there are 10 very simple unbreakable rules to ensure your success. Follow these and you will have a very good connection with your customers, competitive and value for money products as well as a well connected business in your community. 

The unbreakable rules include providing quality customer service, being transparent in your business dealings and ensuring your are reliable as well as consistent in everything you do for your customers.  Make sure your products and services provide excellent value for money. Allow your customers access to you and your staff and ensure your products and services are consistent. Remember privacy and how you manage customer data is important, you need to improve the little things on a regular basis, have a social responsibility to the community and environment as well as ensuring that your customer satisfaction is guaranteed every time.

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