In some instances, things are pretty much out of your full control.
When the economy is struggling, consumers tend to pull back on buying items, sticking to mainly those things they truly need. As a result, business owners can see their financial revenue streams start to dry up to a degree.
There are a number of ways that your business can be prepared for such issues, though there are certainly not guarantees that they will always work.
So, will you be ready the next time things appear to be heading south?
Keep Customer Satisfaction at High Levels
First and foremost, you need to make sure that customer satisfaction levels never dip dramatically.
One danger to steer clear of as a business owner is being complacent.
Yes, you may have great products and/or services, not to mention a great rapport between your employees (including you) and your customers.
That said don’t take those customers (current and potential ones) for granted. If you do that, you open the door to possible heartbreak.
So, what are some levels of customer satisfaction that should always remain high?
One of the most important is making sure customers feel secure doing business with you.
In a day and age where identity theft is a constant fear, many customers worry about how much time and money you invest into keeping their data and any transactions they make with you fully secure.
When it comes to secure credit card processing, it is important that customers feel safe and sound doing business with you.
Each and every credit card transaction with your business needs to be one where no glitches (notably identity theft) can rear their ugly heads.
If you’ve been having some doubts about your payment processing provider up to this point, look around to see if there are better options out there for you. Remember, keeping your customers happy and secure should always be a top priority.
Making Sales on the Go
Speaking of that happiness, more and more consumers are looking to make purchases when on the go. As a result, having ability to make mobile sales is also an important feature your business should certainly consider offering if not already.
For example, when is the last time you flew on an airliner?
If it was in recent times (even the last few years); you will notice that airlines no longer accept cash for alcoholic drinks or when purchasing snacks at 30,000 feet etc. It is easier for the airlines to conduct all their sales through credit cards, meaning flight attendants do not have to carry change on them when serving customers. A simple swipe of a credit card through a mobile app reader and the sale is complete.
For your business, make sure you can and do accept credit cards anywhere at any time, with an emphasis again on secure and safe transactions.
Finally, always be quick to respond to customers in the event their personal financial information is in fact compromised.
Yes, you may lose some customers over this for the long haul, but many others are more apt to stay with you if they see you have taken a pro-active and swift response to the problem.
This means identifying the problem as quickly as possible, finding a solution so that customers do not feel a major financial impact, and working to make sure (as best you can) that it does not happen again.
When working with a credit card provider, be sure to discuss with them the importance of coming up with safe and expedient purchases for customers.
Today’s world is predicated on the ability of businesses to serve their customers in a fast, courteous, and safe manner. When one or more of those traits are missing, the customer might ultimately be the one who ends up missing down the road.
Don’t be that business owner who doesn’t understand how important those three characteristics of a successful business truly are.
Be the business owner who is secure enough in what he or she is doing.
Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.