How easy is it to do business with you?

Lisa Pentland Headshot sandstone

An article by Lisa Pentland (Chief Thought Leader, BWT)

Most business owners invest and reinvest a large proportion of their time and money in the growth of their business, one principal recently reckoned about 90%.

These business owners invest thousands of dollars in clever and creative advertising, marketing, branding and sponsorship efforts year after year, trying to stand out from the crowd and generate more business inquiry.

But how successful are these efforts? Well that depends on how we view their purpose initially and at which point we measure the results. Most often results are simply measured by a notable surge or lack of new managements. However, of the business’s we profiled we noted a huge opportunity for variable outcomes between receiving an inquiry and converting it to new business. It’s fair to say that even the most brilliant marketing campaign will not result in new business if no-one returns a call or responds to an email inquiry.

Sound ridiculous? Well… over the last couple of years we have conducted hundreds of Mystery Shopping exercises with surprisingly little variation in the results regardless of brand or location.

 We noticed that despite the huge desire and investment in business growth, very few business’s invest in refining and managing the process, once the inquiry is received. Our results showed that this massively reduced and in many cases completely negated the business owners return on investment.

With a possible 30 points up for grabs the first time average score was 18 with some company scores as low as 3. To their credit, those that took the feedback on board, reviewed and repaired their procedures and invested in the next stage of the inquiry management workflow took between 4 and 8 months to increase their score to between 23 and 25 with one business reaching 30, and ultimately increasing their new business success.

The mystery shop we conducted took us on a journey from the initial inquiry about an agency to engaging with them and finally making the appraisal appointment.

Areas we covered were:

  • Ability to articulate a point of difference in a conversational way
  • Ability to handle questions regarding fees and service offerings
  • Perceived market knowledge
  • Management and processing of the inquiry
  • Effort made to build rapport
  • Follow up and supporting documentation
  • Overall customer experience
  • Web and social media profile

When was the last time you looked at your business from the outside in?