business ideas – local services


Instead of me moaning about the customer service of companies, I thought I come up with a few lines of great customer service or better business ideas to be implemented at some local services.

Our local pizza delivery service for instance. For the past 5 years I have been ordering my special pizza: ham, chicken, artichokes, mushrooms, black olives, extra garlic, extra cheese – thin crust. Almost every Friday, and at least once a month. If we estimate an average order volume of £20, estimate on average twice a months, that makes it 5 years of £480 orders, e.g. round about £2,000 I spent with them. Honestly, our combined order is usually past the £25 mark and more than twice a month 😉

Now, they are great, only made one mistake in all the years and replaced the pizza without extra pay. However, they regularly have offers on where you can save 20%, and you can only claim them during a certain time period, and if you have the leaflet. If you are a regular customer you normally don’t get the offers because you hardly check your leaflet or trash it as soon as it comes through the door. Hence you lose out on the special deals, because you already know what you want and don’t need a leaflet, don’t you?

My suggestion therefore is that they should create an account for each customer. If they had a website, they could automatically do that online, you set up your own account, your preferred pizza, and all you have to do is send a text message or an email or call with a reference number to place your order.

Of course this is not a new idea. And, my next suggestion, as you might have guessed, is to pass on the special offer they have on to regular customers automatically. Make them aware, e.g. deliver the pizza and say “Just to make you aware that we took 20% off your order today because we have a special you might not be aware of.” If you believe it or not, even in a small community like Beckenham, this could make the rounds. People will start talking about it, because people like to speak about their good (and you noticed also their bad) customer service experience. Get people talking and pass on the benefit is the bottom line.

Now, whilst we are on the topic: my local ironing shop.
They have offers on too. They have a website which does not work. So every week I call them to find out if I have to wash my shirts and they iron them or if they still have the special on for washing and ironing my shirt. With a simple newsletter, better a mobile text message service, they reach all their customers. Why not send a text message on a Thursday to all your registered users and tell them “Special this weekend, bring in 5 shirts to iron and get the washing free.” This or similar of course 🙂

Where I am going with that – of course cb consulting offers customer service trainings. But, at the moment my time is limited to provide any work. However, I would like people to start thinking as a business. That is my passion, I enjoy doing and running businesses and having ideas for them.

ROI – return on investment. Whilst it is not always about money, money is where it all comes down to. If you get an additional 20 people to order a pizza once a month with an order volume of £20, then this is £400 more in your bank, minus running costs of course. So, you don’t need to have a maths degree to work out how many extra pizzas you need to sell, or how many extra shirts you need to iron, in order to accumulate the costs of an easy to implement website, CRM software, or mobile marketing solution. It is easy and a no brainer to improve your service which ultimately improves the order value….which improves your profit.

Enough of a business lecture on a Thursday morning. Enjoy the rest of your week.

And, if you have too much money to spend, why not develop an iphone application like Pizza Hut did 😉