The advantage of being a small business

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michellegriceOver the past few weeks, I have been dealing with some large companies.

Those interactions have been less than satisfactory to say the least, and have reminded me of the enormous advantage small businesses have over big business.

Here is a rundown of my experiences:

1. Courier company: The courier arrived with two large boxes that were labelled with my address, but with the wrong name (and not my goods). After refusing delivery, the courier attempted to deliver the same package three times over the next few days. As I write, I am still awaiting my correct package. The issue for this company is that while they have good procedures in place for deliveries, they have little capacity to respond appropriately to anomalies. This situation didn’t ‘fit’ their expected scenarios, and they were unable to investigate and solve it.

2. Online payment gateway: I set up a new account in order to add an additional payment option on my invoices. The account was limited, and I was told to submit additional information. Because the additional information I supplied didn’t ‘fit the box’, my account continued to be limited. When I queried this, I was sent a generic email asking me to submit the same ‘additional information’. As I write, I’m still corresponding with this company, explaining the situation and asking for a specific response for what is required.

It is understandable that sometimes there are situations that require intervention.

However, the overarching issue in my dealings with these companies is that I have needed to communicate multiple times, repeating the same information to different people, and doing so across a long period of time.

This is where small businesses have the advantage. If you have in place the very simple policy of always responding to enquiries within 24 hours you are already ahead of the game! If you call back and provide helpful information, specific to that person’s enquiry, you are miles ahead of big business. And if you do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it, you will have customers lining up at the door.

Michelle Grice is the Founder of Shel Design. Call 0412 701 147 or email info@sheldesign.com.au. 

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