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Are You Making it Easy for Your Clients to do Business with You?

You may automatically think that the answer is yes but do you know why your potential clients may choose your competitors?

This became very clear to me last weekend when I stopped for lunch at Tim Horton's with my daughter (for the non-Canadians, this is THE doughnut chain in Canada which is one of the strongest brands in Canada. They even have a location in Afghanistan for the Canadian troops).

I like to stop at Tim Horton's for lunch when out shopping or when on the road. They have sandwiches and soup, and no french fries to tempt me. However, in the past, I often drove by Tim Horton's and went to one of their competitors. Why? Was it better food? No. Was it convenience? No. I often would wait till the next exit to get lunch there. The reason? They were a cash only business, and in the age of debit cards I often had no cash. Driving to a bank and getting my daughter in and out of her car seat to go use the ATM was too much to ask before getting a quick lunch.

So I was happy to see last week that they now accept credit cards and are even going to offer a prepaid card to use. So now I can stop there and get soup and a bagel any time the fancy strikes.

What are the blind spots that you have in your business? What areas you could improve to make it easier for people to do business with you?

Here are some areas for you to consider:

Payment methods: Do you offer all credit cards? PayPal?

Number of staff: Is there enough staff available to help clients?

Ways to buy from you: Online, Phone, Fax, etc.

Does your website answer the most common questions prospects may have?

Is your voicemail system customer friendly or are they stuck in voicemail hell?

Do they understand what you offer and how they will receive it?

Are there certain products that you don't carry that they are going elsewhere to buy?

Go through each of these questions and take an honest look at your company. I discovered that my clients would like to pay by AMEX so they could get air miles. When looking at staffing don't just look at the number of staff, look at how available they are to your clients. For example, on a recent trip to buy a DVR it took me 5 minutes to find someone to answer my questionFeature Articles, and when I found him he was standing with 5 other employees. Dig deep. Walk a mile in your client’s shoes and see how easy you make it to do business with your company.

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Stacey Hylen
is the creator and host of Business Optimization Week and the principal of Hylen Success Coaching. Stacey’s clients say that she helps them optimize their business, better marketing, more sales, more profit, better systems and time management, improved online marketing, and increased work/life balance.

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