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Have You Backed Up Your Technology Lately?

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Have You Backed Up Your Technology Lately?

Sure, I saw the reminder to back up my mobile phone to my laptop but I didn’t do it. And now my lack of action is causing me to lose valuable time away from my business. The enormity of the loss is only being realised as I attempt to complete a task and it takes me longer than it should. How long would it have taken to save my time and my sanity? Moments, only moments.

This morning I checked emails on my mobile and sent a congratulatory text to a friend who gained a new job after an eight-month search and at the same time, I received confirmation I had secured a new client. The planets were aligning. Aaah.

And then half an hour later, I noticed it … or rather the lack of “it”. My mobile phone’s screen was blank. The power light was flashing but I couldn’t activate the screen. I couldn’t receive or make calls. I couldn’t check emails and I knew I was going to be away from my laptop for most of the day. Uh oh!

In the corporate world, I would have referred to the Business Continuity Plan. It would recommend I contact the IT division. And they’d have me up and running in no time. Now, in my Small Business world, I lamented not taking up that offer on my laptop to back up my phone when it popped up.

Between meetings, I trotted off to my communications service provider. Being on my third two-year business plan contract with them and a “valued customer”, (their words, not mine) I didn’t expect it to be a challenge to assist me. But alas, I was there for an hour. And, if that’s how they treat “valued” customers, I’d hate to see how they treat a new customer.

I’m a “valued customer” but where was the customer service?

For me, after we had worked out how long it would take for the phone to be repaired (tip: allow 5 days), my greatest concern was in relation to the replacement phone while waiting for mine to come back (I’m ever the optimist). Although I was on a plan which included the phone, calls, text and data, the provider was willing to provide me with a phone, for free, on which I could call and text only. The proposed phone would not enable me to access emails, a necessary element when I visit my clients at their office and am away from my laptop most days.

The disappointment in customer service became poignant when, for only another $20, the in-store assistant had to seek approval from someone on the end of their phone to match the service I was currently paying for. This need to escalate my expectation took time, but more obvious to me was the lack of trust placed in the in-store assistant to make this decision.

Do you really value your “valued customers”?

Do you, as a Small Business owner provide your staff with training and permission to solve a customer’s problem easily and without escalation?  Sure, I understand a $ limit needs to be imposed but the negative impact I, a “valued customer”, experienced all for $20 highlighted unnecessary bureaucracy. When their language and values did not align with their actions, I become annoyed at being a “valued customer”. Being valued didn’t seem to matter much.

From my experience, I wish you to consider two actions, one for you and one for your business:

  1. Take time to work on the ‘not urgent, but important’ tasks – back up your mobile phone now.
  2. Consider the consequences if you haven’t  given sufficient permission and training to enable your employees to provide customers with an easy and quick solution to their problem.

Avoid turning a valued customer into one who will be looking more closely at the competition next time they have a need.

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“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"



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