Friday, 1 August 2014

RTA Business Complaints No-No’s: Five Ways You Shouldn’t Handle a Complaint

As part of the RTA Business complaints series, last week we gave you five tips for how to handle that pesky complaint and this week we thought we’d flip it on its head; here are five ways you really shouldn’t handle a complaint.

RTA Business: Complaints Need to Be Handled Carefully

Over our years of helping people find the best possible deal they can when they decide it’s time to sell their business, we’ve learned that reputation matters with potential buyers. They want to know that the business they’re buying will benefit them going forward. That is why we’ve previously pointed out that you have to deal with complaints.

However there are right ways and wrong ways to go about this. Do it right and the complainer will go away; it may even be a good PR opportunity for you if you play your cards right. Do it wrong, and not only do they get more ferocious, they get more attention, and you can be sure that a potential buyer will learn of just what has gone down.

The Top Five from RTA Business Consultants

We’ve seen so many companies mishandle complaints and do major damage to their reputations in the process. Here are the top five:

1)      Ignoring It: It’ll be so tempting to ignore it and hope they’ll go away. Don’t. Customers like to feel heard and the more you ignore them, the louder they’ll shout.

2)      Shouting at It: You may feel that you can shout a customer into submission. That’s like when a dictator thinks that if they oppress the people enough it’ll crush their spirit. They only come back stronger.

3)      Arguing It: Have you heard that expression ‘the customer is always right?’ The customer is king in business and whilst you can argue based on facts, avoid arguing because you’ll only look like you’ve got something to hide, and the complainer will smell blood and pounce, making the whole  thing worse.

4)      Delaying It: You may think that if you delay the customer they’ll forget about the complaint and move on. People have surprisingly long memories about this sort of thing, and the longer you put them off, the more determined they’ll be to spread the word about your company.

5)      Pandering to It: If they’ve got a case, of course you should refund them or deal with the problem. However, if they’re complaining for the sake of it, don’t pander. You do and we guarantee that other people will think they can get away with it.

Handling complaints is a delicate balancing act, and you need to remember that it needs to be dealt with effectively. Fail to do so, and that customer will only come back stronger, damaging your reputation and driving away potential buyers in droves.

Friday, 25 July 2014

What Should You Look For When Buying a Business?

If you’ve decided it’s time to expand your operations, RTA Business suggests that there are certain things you should look for when buying a business.

RTA Business Are Here To Help Potential Buyers

Have you decided it’s time to expand your operation, to take your company to the next step? If you have, then let RTA Business - the business sales broker - lend a heling hand. You’re sure to find the right firm for you with us, as we have the largest business database of any UK business transfer agent.
Therefore, we understand how hard it is to decide which company will be right for you and your circumstances. It’s certainly not an easy decision to make, and in our experience, there’s several things you need to consider:

What Do You Need to Consider? 

1)      Profit Margins: The most obvious is how much money they’re making. If they’re not making money now, then how will they make money for you, once the company has fallen into your hands?

2)      Potential for Expansion: Sometimes, it’s good to take a gamble on a business that may not have strong profit margins, but has a lot of potential for expansion. To figure this out, look at the potential business and see how it’s working in relation to the wider marker, can you see growth potential?

3)      Their Reputation: You need to think about how other people see them. Basically, if they have a bad reputation, that reputation will carry on with you at the helm, meaning that the company could prove to be a drag on your own bottom line.

4)      The Employees: The employees are the life blood of any organisation. If the company in question has employees you feel you can’t work with, it would cost you money to replace them. Ask yourself, is it really worth it?

5)      The Target Market: Is the potential business’ target market one you know? One you can work with? If the answer to both questions is no, that business just isn’t for you.

Most importantly, RTA Business would suggest that you think about how you can use the company in question to make money, both in the short and long-term, and use that to decide whether this is the right business for you.
If you want to learn more or need to speak to a member of the team, please contact the RTA Business Complaints department today.

Friday, 18 July 2014

RTA Business Complaints Case Study: Unrealistic Expectations

As a part of the ongoing RTA Business Complaints series, this week we look at customer expectations, and how promising what you can’t deliver can poison your reputation with consumers, and when the time comes, with potential buyers looking to purchase your company.

Your Reputation Matters with Potential Buyers
We understand the nature of reputation here at RTABusiness Consultants. We’ve been helping people all over the country sell their businesses for years, and in our experience, we’ve seen that a bad reputation hangs like an albatross around your neck when you’re trying to persuade a potential buyer that your business is right for them.

Nothing will give your firm a bad reputation quicker than a slew of angry customers. Customers get angry for a number of reasons; one of them is when your product doesn’t deliver what you say it will. They feel as though they’ve been swindled, take to complaints forums and before you know it, your reputation is shot to hell. Just ask National Health Specialists (NHS)

The RTA Business Complaints Case Study
A New Zealand-based health specialist, NHS released a new product and marketed it as a miracle pill. The Lemon Juice Diet Rapid Slimming Capsule was billed as a slimming miracle. Of course, the company promoted the pill with a range of advertisements.

The advert made the mistake of promising that users would slim by two kilos every 24 hours. Naturally, this turned out not to be true, and someone complained to the country’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Remember: Customers Don’t Like Being Lied To
The ASA were swift and brutal in their judgement. They ordered the ad be removed from circulation, noting that it promised unrealistic and unsafe weight reduction, which the parties in question were unable to substantiate. Of course, its generated press and the complaint, along with the decision made labelling the NHS as a disreputable company, will linger like a bad smell, damaging their reputation going forward.

At RTA Business we hope this example reminds you that customers won’t take being lied to. If you want to build up your company with an eye to one day selling it, you need to remember that an angry customer will complain, and that complaint will reflect badly on you when it’s time to find a potential buyer.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

If They Hate You Badly Enough, Nothing Will Stop Them from Complaining

For the RTA Business complaints series this week we want to show why, if they hate you badly enough, nothing will stop them customers from complaining!

Potential Buyers Take Complaints Seriously

When you come to RTA Business, either looking to sell your or looking to buy a business, we make sure that you get what you came for. Either, we’ll make sure that you walk away with a decent profit for the sale of your business, or that you buy the company that’s right for what you need.

That’s why we’ve taken the time to explore complaints in depth. Nothing can sink a business sale like a complaint. If a potential buyer finds out you’ve had a string of complaints lodged against you; they’ll scarper in a heartbeat. It pays to make sure you avoid customer complaints.

The Shame Factor

This week we want to turn our attention to more sensitive industries i.e. the loan industry. Often, the perception tends to be that if you own a company that operates in this industry, you can get away with more, because people aren’t going to complain.

Why? Most people, especially if they fallen into debt, don’t want to shout about the fact that they’ve taken out a loan. Whilst that might be true, we would argue that you still need to prioritise customer service, because if you make them mad enough, it doesn’t matter how ashamed they are of having taken out a loan, they’ll hate you enough that they’ll decide that bringing you down is worth the small sacrifice of making that information public.

Case In Point: The Payday Loan Industry

Let’s take the payday loan industry as the perfect example. Recently the Independent reported that the Financial Ombudsman has revealed that complaints about payday loans have doubled in the past two years, ‘despite,’ the “shame factor” that formerly put most people off from complaining.

Principle Ombudsman Caroline Wayman made her stance very clear on the issue, when she said: “Its important people don’t feel trapped with nowhere to turn for help because of the stigma that is associated with short-term lending.”

RTA Business Suggests You Don’t Make Enemies of Customers
These recent figures are, of course, a disaster for the payday loan industry. Not only are they getting complaints about it, but it’s being reported, and people are being persuaded to forget the “shame factor” that would otherwise have dissuaded them from lending.

So, in conclusion, don’t make enemies of customers. You may think that you’ll be able to get away with it, but you won’t. They will eventually complain, and those complaints have the capability to drive any potential buyer away when you decide it’s time to sell your business. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Whatever You Do, Don’t Follow the Example of the Energy Sector!

As part of the RTA Business Complaints series this week, we’d like to take the time to warn you not to follow the example of the complaint burdened energy sector!

Sell Your Company with RTA Business

Are you looking to sell your business? Do you want to walk away with the most money possible for all of your hard work? If this is you, come to RTA Business Consultants; the business sales broker with the skill, knowledge and expertise, to ensure we find the right buyer for your company.

That experience has taught us that complaints are anathema to the business owner looking to sell on their firm for profit. A potential buyer sees these complaints? You might as well give up on selling it right now, they’ll certainly give up on buying it; they’ll think it’s not worth the hassle!

Just Look at What They’re Doing and Do the Opposite

We’ve taken the time over the past few weeks with the RTA Business complaints series to warn you how not to invoke complaints, how to handle them, how to not handle them etc. Now we want to give you an example of what not to do.

And the complaint beleaguered energy sector is the perfect example of what not to do in every single way; how not to avoid complaints, how not to deal with them etc. Just look at what they’re doing and do the opposite.

Customer Complaints for the Energy Sector Have Reached Their Highest Ever Levels

Notably, the Guardian reported this week that customer complaints for the energy sector have reached their highest ever levels; 1.7 million for the big six energy companies this quarter.

According to consumer group Which?, who started to compile customer complaint data on the sector in 2012, the figure was a rise from the 1.5 million complaints recorded for the same period last year. Npower’s figure in particular was spectacularly bad; 83 complaints for every 1,000 customers.

So What Are They Doing That’s so bad?

So what are they doing that’s so bad, why are they getting so many complaints? How are they handling them? Well obviously rising energy prices is a part of it, but the issue is far more complex.

Executive Director of Which? Richard Lloyd put it best. The Guardian reported that Lloyd said: "Yet again, millions of customers are being let down by poor service from the big six energy companies. If they want to improve the low level of consumer trust in the energy market, suppliers must up their game now.

Give Your Customers Good Service!

That’s it; poor service is facilitating these complaints, and teams are handling them just as poorly. If you want to avoid the damage customer complaints can reap on your eventual plan to sell your business, learn a lesson from the plight of the energy sector, and make sure you give your customers good service!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

RTA Business Complaints Series: Why Do Customers Complain?

As part of the RTA Business Complaints series, this week we get to the root of the problem and ask, just why do customers complain.

Advice from RTA Business: Complaints are Dangerous!

In RTA Business’ experience of helping business owners up and down the country walk away with the best possible deal they can get when they decide it’s time to sell their company, we’ve found that complaints can be detrimental. Rack up enough, and be unlucky enough for a potential buyer to see them? They’ll think your firm has too many issues to handle, and that it’s not worth the effort.

That’s why you need to stop complainers in their tracks. So far we’ve featured articles on how best to do so, and how not to do so, now we want to address the larger issue of why they do so. If you know this, you can stop complainers before they even have a reason to open their mouths.
The Top Five from RTA Business

We’ve seen a lot of businesses deal with customer complaints in our time, and our experience has shown that these are the top five reasons a customer takes to the phone and expresses their dissatisfaction:

1) Faulty Product: The number one reason; if you’ve sold them a faulty product, of course they’re going to complain if only to get their money back.

2) Poor Customer Service: If a customer feels as though their trade isn’t valued, that you’ve sacked them off, they’ll complain out of sheer indignation. People don’t like to feel that their custom is unappreciated.

3) Not As Advertised: if a customer feels that your product or service is not as advertised, they will feel lied to. Nobody likes being lied to, and you can guarantee that they will complain and make sure everyone thinks you’re untrustworthy. A seriously dangerous complaint for your business model.

4) They’ve Been Left Waiting: If you’ve left a customer waiting, it doesn’t matter how effective your service is, or how valued you make them feel, they will complain, because you’ve wasted their time.  As they say, time is money.

5) Because They Can: Some customers will complain simply because they think they can get away with it, or because they’re having a bad day, or because they want their money back after they’ve looked at their bank balance and realised they haven’t got as much as they thought. Nothing you can do really except shut them down.

Once you know why a customer complains, make sure you deal with it before it can ever become a problem that causes a potential buyer to think that your business just isn’t worth the effort. 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Here are RTA Business’ Top Five Reasons a Buyer Won’t Purchase Your Company

If you’ve put your business up for sale and it’s not selling, you need to know why so you can rectify the problem and clinch that elusive buyer. That is why this week, RTA Business has listed its top five reasons a buyer is saying no to the opportunity to purchase your business!

As one of the leading business sales brokers in the UK, RTA Business consultants has been facilitating lucrative business acquisition deals for a fairly long time, and as such, we know what works and what doesn’t.

Get Proactive and Show a Buyer the Value of your Business
More to the point, we know that you have put your business up for sale because you want to make money. The longer you have to wait, the longer you have to wait to get your hands on the cash, which can be frustrating or down right obstructive.

In our experience if a buyer isn’t biting, there are several reasons why, and there’s always something you can do about it.  Get proactive so that when the buyer of your dreams comes along, sees the value of your business and makes you an offer, you can reap your reward for building up your company into one to be proud of!

In order to do that, you need to identify the problem, and in RTA Business’ experience it’s probably one of the following:

1     They Don’t Know You: Even with RTA Business on your side, you need to let people know who you are, otherwise, how will they know why our business is so valuable? Always make sure you have a killer marketing strategy.

2      They Don’t Know the Value of What You Do: We live in a world of sceptics and even profit margins sometimes won’t convince them of the value of what you do. Craft facts, statistics, data, testimonials etc. into your marketing strategy to present a solid case to potential buyers.

3      Profit Margins: In many cases, a buyer may lack interest because your profit margins are too low to catch their eye.  Diversify your service and show them other avenues they can take advantage of to increase revenue with your business.

4      They don’t understand Your Product’s Appeal: In other words, the buyer doesn’t really understand the consumer base you market to. In this case, double down on market research so can readily show the gap in the market that you cater to.

They Believe the Profitability of the Business Isn’t Transferable: A potential buyer may be of the opinion that the company only works because you are at its head. Convince them otherwise by highlighting the key role played by your employees and convince said employees to make a long term commitment to the firm.