“Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.” James Cash Penney
“Make a customer, not a sale.” Katherine Barchetti
I am an advocate for supporting black businesses and passionate about seeing our people win. Nonetheless, too often we like to set ourselves different expectations from other businesses that are striving and doing good in their respective industries.
Excellent customer service should serve as the core and bloodline of any successful business, from our first interaction with the customer/consumer to our last impression should all exhibit professionalism, respect & quality.
I believe that we are part of the golden generation as we are fortunate enough to have plentiful tools and skills to perfect our craft and trade, be it selling tickets for an event or selling food.
I would like to focus my personal experience based on the hospitality service industry, more specifically catering and food businesses. As both a customer and an upcoming entrepreneur in this industry, I have been fortunate enough to observe things from both sides of the coin.
Breaking away from the Norm as a consumer
As a customer, personally I have the exact expectation from a black owned business to that of other businesses and I expect nothing less. However this is not the expectations of some black consumers which is where some of the issues persist and does not allow growth and progression because we become stagnant. I expect to be spoken to as a valuable customer (professionally and respectfully), whether I end up using the service or not , I expect to be provided with a response when I enquire about services and promptly. Too often, these standards have been belittled within our community and almost become normalised.
Exceeding Expectations as a Business Owner/Entrepreneur
The other side of the coin, as an upcoming entrepreneur I have noticed we need to not only meet the needs of our customers/consumers to sell our services, but we should endeavour to exceed it. I believe that impression and treatment of everyone we come in contact with is an opportunity to not only market yourself freely but also the opportunity to build a new form of loyalty from your customers and consumers. I strongly believe that the power of ‘word of mouth’ is still one of the most effective methods of selling, it can kill or make a business. As humans we are naturally empathetic and quiet often willing to give second chances to upcoming start-ups and businesses if we feel a genuine sense of sincerity to our needs. It is much easier to make an instant sale and lose a potential loyal customer than it is to build a long lasting relationship of trust and consistency with quality service.
Solution – Receiving/Providing Feedback and Learning/Improving
Giving and receiving feedback is important to the success and downfall of any business, although it is imperative that the approach which the feedback is delivered is from a good place and a place of wanting the business to improve, grow and progress and not that of condemnation and rudeness with no suggestions of improvement.
I am an upcoming entrepreneur specialising in hospitality, private catering, meals preps and take-away services with aims to “redefine the West-African cuisine experience through Service”.
We always look forward to providing our services to help make your event/occasion memorable and exceed your expectations. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free quotation within 24 hours or simply to say hello.