By: Ian Houvet – Director, Boxfusion
Having a good reputation is one of the most invaluable (albeit intangible) assets a business has. Especially when it comes to the competitive world of SMMEs. As a small business that’s been around for over ten years, we’ve learned that having a good reputation can go a long way to generating new leads and ensnaring loyal customers who return time and again to you for solutions.
One of the ways we’ve worked hard to build a good reputation is through delivery. As a small software company, we offer our clients both products and services. Products in the form of our public sector software solutions, and services in the shape of roll-out, problem solving and general maintenance.
Being able to deliver our offerings on time every time has made a big difference to how existing and potential customers view Boxfusion. In fact, being able to rollout your products timeously, and consistently meet your clients’ needs can be the differentiating factor that makes your business stand out against the competition.
There is truth to the old adage that “the customer is always right”. When we’re engaging in a new relationship with a client, we take this to heart by committing to help them resolve their automation issues. We can get delivery of the product right because we practice the lost art of listening: We listen attentively to what their problem is, so that we can customise the correct solution to address their challenges the first time around.
Besides listening attentively, in order to deliver the right product, we have to be flexible. Boxfusion offers clients both out-the-box and customisable solutions, which means we need to be ready to tailor our software to their needs. Perhaps your business doesn’t offer tailored solutions, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be flexible. Clients are prone to changing their minds mid-process. Whatever it is you’re offering, you need to be mentally and physically prepared for when they change direction. If you’re flexible, you’ll be ready and able to deliver what they need when they need it if you’re not fixated on a particular solution or product for them.
Once you’ve come to understand what it is your client requires, you might find that you also need to be scalable. If you offer a good product and service, it’s very likely that the client will entrust you to solve more of their problems. To maintain your good standard of delivery, you need to be prepared to roll out larger solutions in the same or similar period of time, so be sure that whatever you offer your clients can be up-scaled quickly without internal issues arising.
One final factor to delivering the right product at the right time is keeping your promises. If you’ve assured your client that you’ll have a prototype ready for them to test by a certain date, stick to your word. Or, as we’ve often experienced in our line of work, if you’ve assured them you’ll be on hand to answer questions and assist with training during the roll-out process of your solution, then be contactable. Don’t make promises to your clients that you know you can’t deliver on, and if you do make promises, be sure to stick to your word. Business comes down to honouring your relationships, after all.
Listening carefully, being flexible and scalable, and keeping your promises makes it more likely that you’ll have a faster turnaround time than your competitors. And that is what most clients associate with good delivery: a quick solution to their problems. These four factors underlie that rapid turnaround time and can give you the edge you need to satisfy your customers and grow your client base through your good reputation. At the end of the day, a good product means nothing without good delivery, and that simply comes down to establishing trust, being responsive and offering your clients value.