Any kind of delay can harm your business. Whether the delay involves late product delivery, lack of response from your customer service team, or overdue payments, the end result is the same: loss of revenue. The goal of any business owner is to strategize ways to stop allowing delays to hurt your bottom-line.
All companies want to deliver the best product possible to their customers. However, during production, delays are often inevitable. Although you don’t want to deliver a second-rate product, how do you manage to satisfy customers who have been anxiously awaiting the product’s arrival? The key is to avoid making promises your company can’t keep. Although you might be anxious to introduce a new product or service to the masses, keep things under wraps until you have a firm release date.
If you have experienced delays in the past with the delivery of products and services, take a close look at what went wrong. Learn from past mistakes to avoid them in the future. If you keep clients waiting too long, they may just take their business elsewhere.
One of the biggest threats to your business is payment delays. Making a sale is a good start, but collecting on that sale is what truly matters to your company’s sales ledgers. Not collecting your payments on time can affect the cash flow for your business. Suppliers, staff members and taxes must still be paid regardless of your payment woes. Worse yet, a business with too many outstanding payments can end up folding under the strain.
Although you should have cash reserves to keep your business afloat, you don’t want late payments to become a consistent headache. Your goal should be to help your customers make their payments easily and on time. One way to achieve this is through the use of faster payments software. Faster payments software paves the way for safe and secure electronic transactions. Instead of waiting weeks for payments, your company will have debts settled the same day. Users have 24/7 access to a cloud-based software program and can make their payments at their convenience. Due to the speed of the programs, companies always have the latest account data.
One of the highest valued qualities for employees is punctuality. Employers want staff members who show up on time and deliver their work within the expected timeframe. Some procrastinators within your company may be hurting your company by consistently missing deadlines and always having an excuse for why their projects are delayed. Although your gut reaction may be to clean house to solve the problem, there are strategies you can use to inspire employees to get their work done on time.
- Be clear and concise in instructions. Allow the employees to have options, but make sure the options abide by any time constraints.
- Focus more on the start date, then the end date. Once employees get going, the end is already in sight.
- Ask employees to seek out feedback frequently. Don’t ask only for the final product. If employees are forced to check in, they will feel more obligated to stay on top of deadlines.
- Be flexible to a point. Some delays are foreseeable and you may have to be accepting of them.
Customer Service Delays
However you feel about it, there is a common belief that the customer is always right. And customers want timely service. Delays devalue the service you are providing. Scientific research supports this idea. In a 1989 study published in Advances in Consumer Research Volume 16, researchers found that customers’ perception of service was more negative during delays that occurred in the pre-process and post-process phase of a restaurant.
Not all customer problems can be fixed right away. The ideal strategy is to keep them well informed. Let them know the lengths you’re going to as a way to resolve any issues. Receiving a customer email and not responding for days will not inspire customer loyalty. If you receive a high email volume this can be problematic.
In this case, use an email ticketing system to manage responses. This will at least let the customer know his or her email has been received and your team is working on the issue. If any kind of resolution seems far off, shoot off a quick email to let the client know the cause for the delay. Your customer is likely to be much more understanding if they are kept in the loop.
Stay on top of any company delays to reduce financial and help your business thrive.