Small businesses: Don't let risks take your business down!

Small businesses: Don't let risks take your business down!
Magda Parker
Magda ParkerAmani Consultancy

Posted: Fri 14th Jun 2024

Losing a package is more than just an inconvenience.

For customers,it's the disappointment of a delayed birthday gift or missing tools needed to finish a project. For businesses, it's lost revenue, frustrated customers and the risk of negative reviews hurting your reputation.

Case study

Sarah, who owns a small bakery, was preparing a wedding cake for a high-profile client. As always, to ensure the cake met her usual high standards, she ordered a crucial ingredient from her trusted supplier.

However, the ingredientdidn'tarrive, despite the courier claiming it was delivered and providing a photo as proof. Sarah had not authorised the package to be left in a "safe" spot, leading to confusion and frustration.

In the face of this unexpected setback, Sarah had to scramble for a substitute ingredient, which added stress and increased her costs. Unfortunately, the substitute didn't match the quality her bakery is known for.

On the wedding day, the client was unhappy with the cake and posted a negative review online, complete with a photo showing the disappointing result. This incident not only deteriorated customer trust but alsothreatened to harm the bakery's reputation.

This case underscores the potential risks small businesses face when delivery issues ariseandcustomers are dissatisfied.

Workplace investigations

Workplace investigations can help address these concerns and protect your bottom line. In Sarah's case, it would particularly help in understanding what went wrong internally and managing the fallout with the client.

  • Identifying issues with the system: A workplace investigation can help Sarah identify problems in her processes that led to the delivery problem. This might include understanding gaps in communication with suppliers or internal processes that escalated the situation.

  • Making operations more efficient: By conducting a thorough investigation, Sarah can pinpoint areas of improvement, such as how she tracks orders, handles alternative arrangements and communicates with suppliers.

  • Restoring trust: An investigation can help Sarah demonstrate to her customers that she takes their concerns seriously. Addressing issues transparently can restore trust and enhance the bakery's reputation.

  • Managing future risks: By understanding theroot causes of the issue, Sarah can put preventive measures in place to avoid similar problems in the future, reducing the risks and ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Conciliation versus mediation for the client

In terms of addressing the fallout with the client, conciliation and mediation are both reasonable approaches, but they serve slightly different purposes:

  • Conciliation:This is when a neutral third party helps facilitate an agreement between the parties in the dispute.

    Conciliation is often more advisory, with the third party suggesting solutions to the problem. It's beneficial when Sarah wants guidance on how to resolve the issue and repair the relationship.

  • Mediation: This is where a mediator helps the parties communicate and negotiate a solution they both find acceptable.

    Mediation is beneficial when both Sarah and the client are willing to work collaboratively to resolve the issue. It's ideal for fostering understanding and a co-operative outcome.

Reasonable approach

For Sarah, a reasonable approach would be to opt for mediation initially, as it encourages her to communicate and collaborate with the client directly. Mediation helps to rebuild trust and demonstrates Sarah's commitment to customer satisfaction.

However, if the client prefers a more structured process, orif they are less co-operative, conciliation might be a better option to provide clear recommendations and facilitate an agreement.

How AmaniConsultancy might help

This situation highlights the importance of having effective strategies for supply chain management and customer satisfaction. Here's how a consultant can help in this situation:

  • Supplier management: Help Sarah manage her relationships with suppliers, especially around clear communication and reliable delivery. This could include developing agreements that set out delivery procedures, including authorised safe spots or alternatives.

  • Crisis management: Assist Sarah with handling crises like this one, providing guidance on how to communicate with customers and manage their expectations when issues arise.

  • Handling customer feedback: Provide strategies for responding to negative reviews and addressing customer concerns, which can help restore trust and improve future customer experiences.

  • Protecting her reputation: Help Sarah's business protect its reputation, even in challenging situations, by implementing proactive communication strategies and demonstrating a commitment to customer satisfaction.

Workplace investigations can help protect your reputation, boost staff morale and foster a productive workplace culture.

Relevant resources

Magda Parker
Magda ParkerAmani Consultancy

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