Manager’s Toolkit: 50 to Grow

Image of Business People - manager's toolkit: 50 to grow.  Serbinski Accounting FirmsFrom “Business Matters”
Published Quarterly by Serbinski Accounting Firms

In a world where service is king, make sure you are making every effort to provide quality service to your existing customers and potential new ones. A few essentials:

  1. Hand out business cards. 
  2. Provide service beyond the call of duty. 
  3. Always display confidence. 
  4. Provide a top-notch product or service at a reasonable price.
  5. Never compromise your integrity. 
  6. Maintain enthusiasm about your customers. 
  7. Remember their names. 
  8. Be responsive to your customers' needs. 
  9. Listen to complaints your customer has about your product or service. 
  10. Fix the problem... not the blame. 
  11. Don't promise goods or services that you can't deliver. 
  12. Be respectful when dealing with your customers' employees. 
  13. Attend customers' functions and enjoy them.
  14. Provide newsletters or other items of interest to them.
  15. Refer existing customers to other customers. 
  16. Use your customers' products or services. 
  17. Never argue with customers over complaints about goods or services. 
  18. Never send an apprentice to do a job requiring an expert. 
  19. Know your product and service. 
  20. Never turn away an opportunity to quote.
  21. Ask your employees what the customers want. 
  22. Always return a customer's call. 
  23. Be genuinely interested when customers talk about their businesses. 
  24. When a product or service cannot be delivered on time, contact the customer before the deadline to explain and offer alternative solutions. 
  25. Visit your customers' facilities to gain an understanding of their operations. 
  26. Ask customers to fill out questionnaires concerning service or product aimed at providing better service to your customer.
  27. Provide feedback to customer questionnaires with follow up information and improved product or service. 
  28. Provide three months lead notice for price increases to allow your customers to adjust their prices. 
  29. Be firm but fair concerning receivables. 
  30. Maintain consistency in your pricing/credit policy regarding customers in the same business to avoid arguments of favouritism in pricing or credit. 
  31. Weed out customers that are continually creating problems for your business in receivables, inventory returns, etc. 
  32. Develop advertising brochures that outline the services and products that your company provides. 
  33. Provide employees with the means to market your product or service including marketing courses, business cards, and brochures. 
  34. Offer incentives to employees for new business... trips, cash, recognition. 
  35. Don't change days of operations or hours of operation without notifying your customers at least two months ahead of time.
  36. Never quote so low on a job that quality is sacrificed. 
  37. Never offer "special incentives" to purchasing agents. 
  38. Do not send invoices to customers for insignificant amounts.
  39. Ask your existing customers to help you by referring business to you. 
  40. Always keep your customers in mind when business opportunities arise that they may be interested in. 
  41. Establish a dress code for all employees. 
  42. Show employees, by example, the art of politeness and tact when dealing with customers. 
  43. Discourage voice mail as the first line of contact for existing or potential customers. 
  44. Ensure that when customers are present that personal business and company administration come second.
  45. Never keep customers waiting without acknowledging their presence. 
  46. Maintain a clean, neat and well-organized shop and/or office.
  47. Foster respect and tolerance of others' beliefs, religion, gender, and nationality. 
  48. Deal with staff or customer grievances personally. 
  49. Never deal with unethical companies or personnel. 
  50. Always know what the competition is doing.