The other day, I visited the doctor for a routine check-up. On arrival, I was informed that my file had been lost, and I therefore had to fill in all the information again. Not only that, but the receptionist had the attitude that it was my fault the file was misplaced! All the information regarding previous visits was lost, and it took quite a while to sort out my medical history with my physician before the actual examination could begin. I was not impressed.
The next day, I had a query with my internet service provider. When I phoned and gave my name, the receptionist immediately had access to my file, and could respond quickly and appropriately to the query. The problem was sorted out professionally, increasing the company’s credibility in my sight, and I thus feel free to recommend them to others.
This got me thinking about how important good record-keeping is for a small business. Beside the legal obligations regarding documentation, your satisfied customers are one of your most crucial assets, as you cannot run your business without them. One way in which to ensure the most positive relationship with each customer is through taking extra care with good record-keeping and archiving.
As a small business owner, it is easy to overlook the value attached to good record-keeping. This job is often given to the lowest paid employee. It is far easier to shove documents into a file than to pay someone to index and sort them. In fact, most businesses do not know they don’t have their important documents until they need them!
This is a potentially dangerous situation, and could cost the company at best an inconvenient amount of lost revenue. For instance, if you have a proof of delivery document to the value of $500 and you lost it, technically the client does not have to pay.
Good record-keeping is not a stand-alone function but rather a support function to other aspects of running a business. Beside the legal requirements, good record-keeping is also good for PR. Customers are always impressed if you can draw a file easily or deal with any issues that require documentation to clear up.
Clients want to know that they are regarded as important by a company. They are far more likely to go back to a business that attended to their query or problem quickly and professionally.
These days, it is so easy for customers to complain about poor service via the internet. Good record-keeping can assist in keeping the bad word-of-mouth rumour mill at bay and even in gaining a few good references.
If you want to enhance customer satisfaction through correct documentation procedures, contact Virtual Productivity Solutions to help you develop an easy-to-use documentation system for your small business.