Is your small business keeping its promise to customers?

Promises, Promises
Promises, Promises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever broken promise to someone? The saddest is promising to be home early to spend time with your children but you end up staying late at work. On wedding days solemn promises are made but many are broken years later. Public officials make promises especially during electioneering times but a few months down the track are they delivering on their promises?

In the real world we see promises and commitments being broken all the time. Basic services to communities are not delivered, equipment is not maintained and electricity, water and even postal services are not available for extended periods.

Broken promises. Colleagues, business partners and suppliers who make promises but don’t take them seriously enough and so break them before the business day is out. Perhaps people have their “valid” excuse that they have got so much on their plate that they can’t remember everything.

How do you feel when someone has broken a promise they made with you? Do you feel let down? Has your impression of the person change?

A promise is really a commitment to someone that you will give them something. It is not a binding contract but a small informal agreement that you will act on your word. When you break a promise you have actually diminished the integrity of your word. After more than one or two broken promises, other people stop believing in you and don’t take you seriously.

In today’s environment do people still take promises seriously? With promises being broken in relationships between residents and community officials, civilians and the state and in personal relationships where is one place where promises still count? If it’s not in larger businesses who say they will get back to you in an hour and never do, promise that they will send you information you require but you never receive it or promise to take back their faulty goods they have sold you but make you feel like you’ve done something wrong, then where do promises still remain important?

It’s in the smaller entrepreneurial business. Small businesses usually operate in a community and are known by members of that community. When you break promises with your local customers, some won’t give you a second chance. They’ll move on to another small business where they can get their commitments honoured whether it is fast and efficient service, the sharpest prices or range that meets their expectations.

Break your promise with your local customers at your own peril. Don’t honour their commitments you make to serve your customers and you will quickly find out how important honouring promises is among customers of small businesses. When you honour your promises and commitments, customers trust you and keep coming back.

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