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20 CRM and business tips to thrive in a 'zigzag' economy

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17th Feb 2012
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This week, the Bank of England chief predicted that the UK economy will have a 'zigzag' path to recovery. What can your firm do to prepare and respond?

In a report this week, the Bank of England chief Sir Mervyn King concluded that the UK economy is in "choppy waters" and will have a "zigzag" path to recovery.
The were signs of optimism in the Bank of England's quarterly inflation report which predicted the economy will grow by 1.2% and that inflation will continue to fall in the coming months. However, the Eurozone crisis remains a big risk.
Although we appear to be in a 'zigzag' economy, there are signs of recovery and companies need to act now so they are ready for recovery. Rather than adopt a wait and see approach, businesses should be looking to improve what they do and the services they provide in order to be more internationally competitive. Companies that take action now will reap the benefits in terms of growth and profitability when the economy picks up.
Here are my 20 tips for businesses on how to ahead in a zigzag economy:
1.       Talk to every customer you can to find out what they would like from you in  service and products
2.       Dig into the service levels of your business and add 25% to the quality and standard given.
3.       Be your own customer – mystery shop yourself to understand how the customer is treated and how that can be improved.
4.       Look at how customers want to trade with you. Frequently? By phone? On line?
5.       Increase the value of what you offer by adding zero cost elements to the service given
6.       Look at how you can increase on line trade
7.       Put yourself on face book
8.       Tweet about your business
9.       Join LinkedIn and industry groups and links in the site.
10.   Train your team to be customer focused
11.   Train them to deliver commercial excellence – maximum sales/quality/profit delivery.
12.   Examine very closely what your competitors do to perform well
13.   Examine why competitors fail – there are as a many lessons in failure as there are in success
14.   Steal ideas from other industries
15.   Examine how to retain existing customers better
16.   Look at lapsed customers and how to recover them.
17.   Create an internal demand for innovation ideas
18.   Give your team the freedom to create a winning culture
19.   Lead a culture of accountability
20.   Go to point 1 and go round again and again...

Stephen Archer is business analyst and director of business consultancy, at Spring Partnerships.

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