You have a great idea for a business, your family and friends seem supportive and you decide to take the plunge. The early days are out-of-this-world exciting, you attract customers and your bottom line starts to grow. But a year or two later, problems start to creep, seemingly out of nowhere. You find yourself sleeping less and stressing more, realizing that being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart.
First, know that you aren’t alone; each problem you’re facing right now has been faced by business owners who came before you.
Here are the most common issues and our steps over how to solve business problems:
The problem: You keep hiring the wrong people
Oof. This one is a punch in the gut and arguably one of the most pressing issues faced by business owners. You are putting your feelers out when job openings arise, tapping into your personal networks for referrals, doing a ton of interviewing, but a few months into a new employee’s tenure, it hits you…they are the worst possible person for the job.
The solution: Rethink your hiring strategy
This is not a quick fix. In fact, it can take years and multiple iterations to get right the talent acquisition part of running a business. Start by tossing out your current hiring strategies. Call on a hiring consultant. Create an internal hiring committee to brainstorm on a regular basis on things that have worked in the past and things that have failed.
Then, start slow. If you haven’t established in-stone values for your company, start there. Hire according to those values and remember that you can train people for most tasks, but attitude and disposition are inherent. Trust your gut, fire fast and you will be on your way to a better workforce.
The problem: Your customer communication is out of whack
You have 100 employees and a few thousand customers. How do you keep track of who emails which customers and how often? Are lines being crossed? When one employee gets a lead, can he or she pass off that lead to another employee? If they do, is there any way to track the hand-off?
To solve for this, many entrepreneurs will utilize dozens of online apps and project management programs—most of which don’t seamlessly interact with each other. All of this creates major headaches.
The solution: Find the right all-in-one solution
Wouldn’t it be great if there were an all-encompassing solution to help track all communications with customers and internal employees? A place where you could go to not only reach out and follow up, but administer surveys and track it all with an integrated analytics tool?
THERE IS! It’s called NextOS and its platform is uniquely designed to help solve communication issues for business of all sizes. Hooray!
The problem: You receive a negative customer review
You wake up one morning and—BOOM—you are hit squarely between the eyes with a public customer review so scathing that you’re heart starts palpitating (ok, maybe not that bad, but you get the severity here).
The solution: Respectfully engage
First, breathe. There are several things you can do to stop the bleeding. One is to respond with kindness. Apologize, take responsibility and publicly offer a refund or to help the person off-line. Prospective customers can read the responses to negative reviews even more often than the reviews themselves, so take a moment (or a day) to let your temper subside and engage with compassion.
The problem: Your customer service needs a serious revamp
This goes beyond bad reviews. Knowing your need a revamped customer service strategy is like knowing you ate something rotten: you can’t deny it and it likely is giving your indigestion. Customers aren’t happy, employees are likely not happy and your numbers are declining.
The solution: Integrate customer service into everything you do—make it your mission
Some of the most loved companies—Zappos, for example—focus on customer service above all else. Before shoes and apparel and sales of any kind. Without customers, these companies know they will shutter quickly. Try to redesign your mission and values around the same concepts. The more you think about the customer—the more you make it your mission to make each customer happy—the better you’ll do in the long run.
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