We started a new business four months ago. Something small which does not detract from our core business but is a nice add on nevertheless. (We did this to extend our knowledge of pure online operations in advance of enhancements to our point of sale software.) Anyway, this new start up is being promoted solely through sponsored links with Google and Yahoo. It’s in a competitive marketplace where price and service are key. When customers go to our website and order we advise how long delivery will take. The delivery time estimate is the actual period plus a day of grace in case things go wrong. We’re clear on our timing requirements to make shipping cut off each day. And our price point is keen.
The result, four months on, is great growth every month. We’re about six months ahead of where we expected to be at this point.
The really good news, however, is the customer feedback. Since this is purely on online play we had expected only limited return business. Don’t know why. Each day we’re getting at least one and often more email(s) from customers raving about the service and letting us know that they are actively recommending us to others. We can see from direct access to the website, compared to click throughs, that this word of mouth is working for us.
The experience, even though only four months old, reinforces to us the importance of customer focus. Put them first every time, deliver on time and for a fair price and the business will grow and grow. This is the small business advantage. A small business should beat a big business of customer service every time.
We’re revising our plans, working on making our service even better and building a business plan which compressed two years planned growth into six months.