Cart

Fijian Made Products

Fijian Made Products

When you purchase a Fijian made product or service from local vendors, artisans and businesses, you are helping to create jobs and promote growth in Fiji. Your purchases ensure that the money spent in Fiji stays in Fiji and is reinvested into the local communities and contributes towards the economy at large.

The products reflect the diversity and are sustainable, eco-friendly and authentic. Each product comes with a story exclusive to the maker. Each purchase empowers local artists to create tangible items that bring harmony and prosperity.  

The products are made locally so you can have confidence in the quality and know that whatever you are buying hasn’t travelled around the world before reaching you. By buying Fijian made products, you are not only supporting local jobs and the Fijian economy but also getting the best products. 

Contact us at [email protected] to find out more on how to get your online store on MAKETE!

#SupportLocalBusiness #MSMEs #FijiMadeProducts #BuyLocal #SupportFiji #SmallBusiness #FijiEmpowerment #OneNation #FijiBusiness #ChooseLocal  

Fiji Made Products vision is to promote and showcase authentic handmade arts and crafts from Fiji. It is our purpose to bring the vast resources and beauty of the Fijian culture to our customers. Our products contribute to building and strengthening of sustainable eco-friendly craftsmanship of the indigenous artists.

We are confident that Fiji Made offer the best traditionally carved and handmade products designed at its finest.

http://naturalfiji.com.au/the-benefits-of-buying-fijian-made/ 

The benefits

The Fijian Made emblem makes the ‘Fijian connection’ instantly, clearly and with authority.

For exporters

Let one of our partners help you export your products, or simply access our network of retailers and distributors.

How much does it cost?

Fees go back into promoting the logo, nationwide and around the world. Calculate your fee here.

Compliance criteria

How can your product meet the required criteria to use a Fijian Made emblem.

Extend your reach

The Fijian Made emblem makes the ‘Fijian connection’ instantly, clearly and with authority.

Register your products

The certification process is quick and easy. Register now and get the Australian advantage.

Research

The Fijian Made Campaign regularly undertakes research here and in export markets to understand consumer awareness of the Fijian Made, Fijian Grown emblem, demand for Fijian products and produce and consumer attitudes towards buying Fijian.

Case Studies

Insights into businesses using the Fijian Made Campaign emblem, across a variety of industries, both domestically and around the world; why they use it and how it has benefitted them.

School Kits

Are you teaching or learning about Fijian Made Campaign emblem? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Our resources include an animated e-book, animated activity sheets, interactive activity sheets and fact sheets.

The Fiji Trade Commission is a government funded organisation whose goal is to promote trade and investment in the Australian and New Zealand markets to create jobs and economic growth in Fiji.

Fijians produce a wide variety of exquisite handicrafts, such as carved masks, kava bowls, war clubs, woven baskets and tapa paintings (cloth made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree). Jack’s Handicrafts, with locations in all major towns and many resorts, is a good starting point 

and has a wide selection of well-priced, quality goods.

However, it’s far more fun to wander around the markets and try your hand at bargaining for that special ‘must-have’ piece. At the Nadi Handicraft Market, you will find farmers, fishermen, and craftsmen selling their wares to locals as well as travellers. In Suva, the Municipal Curio and Handicraft Centre, located downtown, is a wonderful place to shop for genuine artefacts at bargain prices and sit down with the Fijian artists for a chat.

Do you own a Business?

Do you own a Business?

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) make a vital contribution to economic growth and development. They represent a seedbed of entrepreneurial skills and innovation, contribute to job creation, and are considered the backbone of the global economy.

MSMEs employ a small number of workers. These are generally privately owned and operated by sole proprietors, corporations or partners. The definition of MSMEs vary by industry and country.

In general, MSMEs do not dominate their respective industry. Such enterprises help diversify, sustain and grow their respective industries as many women and minorities make significant contributions to the small-business world. 

Not all small businesses are alike. Each business has it’s own way of contributing to creating employment and the vibrancy of the Fijian economy.

MSMEs exist in almost every industry. MSME sectors have a lot of potential for growth especially through extensive marketing. Large enterprises have enough resources at their command to hire manpower to take care of marketing of their products and services however MSMEs do not have these resources at their command and need support for providing these inputs in the area of marketing.

Many of these businesses exist largely to support a family and are not principally focused on expansion. In Fiji, some MSMEs have begun to generate money from activities that were never considered to become an income generating activity. 

Performance of MSMEs is influenced by many factors and one of them is its ability to respond to competition by way of adopting appropriate strategies to combat the threats.

MAKETE provides state of the art digital e-commerce platform to CONNECT (communities, buyers & sellers), LEARN (business training) and EARN (selling products and services).

MAKETE is an easy to use, secure platform to sell and promote goods and services made in Fiji.

When running your own business, it is important to surround yourself with like-minded people that know and understand how to operate a business and nobody else understands the kinds of issues that you face as an entrepreneur, like other entrepreneurs on MAKETE’s platform especially during this COVID-19 period.

If you have a MSME or would like to start a business, you may like to join MAKETE!

  1. You get your own Online Store
  2. Our inhouse team comprising of our Corporate Counsel provides support to budding entrepreneurs that are wanting to start their own business, learn about branding, trademarks, and marketing 
  3. You will get to meet and network with other like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs and connect with them
  4. It is a safe space to exchange and talk about issues, hardships and strategies with other business owners and entrepreneurs 
  5. Attend various workshops and trainings 
  6. Secure Payments using M-PAISA, Credit Card, Bank Transfer, and more
  7. 24/ 7 chat feature is provided
  8. Quick and secure order options are available, and much more

Contact us on [email protected] to find out more on how to get your online store on MAKETE TODAY!

Common problems can bring together a common understanding towards finding proper holistic solutions. 

E-commerce for Small Business & Entrepreneurs

E-commerce for Small Business & Entrepreneurs

We are living in a time where the Internet is an integral part of our lives. Either it’s about choosing the right route for your destination, or, researching before purchasing something, the Internet has covered it all. There is no denying the fact that we are moving towards a world that would be Internet-dependent.

Especially during the times of COVID-19, when consumer behaviour has witnessed a shift towards online shopping, it’s the right time for you to understand the effects and benefits of e-commerce to take your store online.

For someone who is not a regular Internet savvy person migrating from offline to online can be a bit challenging. One might face challenges related to technological development, making online business strategies, and building a team of professionals to handle the business successfully.

Benefits of E-commerce 

  1. Increased Business Reach

One of the most significant advantages of e-commerce is that it takes your business to people where it’s not possible for you to be present physically. By having an online store, you can sell your products/ services to different locations from a single location. 

  1. Increased Business Revenue

As the business reach widens, the customer base would grow, which will directly impact the number of sales. Thus, it will boost the revenue. With increased revenue, business owners can increase the product line, or invest more in marketing to capture more audience.

  1. Emarketing

Reaching out to an audience by sending emails, contacting via phone, or pushing marketing messages can be a tiresome task. But, thanks to emarketing, attracting people to the online store has become much more comfortable. Through the means of an e-commerce business, you can land well in the search engines and start receiving recurring traffic to your online store. Slowly, with the best e-commerce practices, you can convert these to a steady flow of customers for your business. 

  1. Low Operational Cost

One of the benefits of having an online store is that you don’t have to build physical stores at all the locations where you want to sell your products/ services, a single eStore would do that for you. This will keep your business operational cost on the lower side. So, while you have access to customers from all across the country and internationally, your operational cost is kept at a minimum.

  1. Online Reputation Building

As a small offline business, when your customers appreciate your products/ services, it’s tough for you to take advantage of those appreciations to influence new customers. But, with an online presence of your business, your customers can share their appreciation over social media profiles of your business. These reviews are publically available for everyone to see and this helps you to influence your new users to get converted to customers. 

  1. Flexible Timings

As you would be running your business online, you can remain open for new orders and your customers 24×7, which is not feasible in the case of an offline brick and mortar store. So, by going online, you can receive orders 24X7 and never let any opportunity slip away from you.

  1. Reviews

Word of mouth is still one of the most popular marketing methods that can help any brand go viral overnight. While in a retail environment it is difficult to get customer reviews, it is much more comfortable and hassle-free online. You can ask customers for reviews online and build credibility by publishing these on social media platforms and other sales channels.

The advantages of e-commerce are manifold. It saves time and energy, and also you can sell your product or service to a huge audience all over the world with just a mouse click. Compared to other businesses, it is cost-effective. By minimising the damage of operations and increasing sales through better reach, you can do wonders for your business.

MAKETE provides state of the art digital e-commerce platform to CONNECT (communities, buyers & sellers), LEARN (business training) and EARN (selling products and services).

MAKETE provides an easy to use, secure platform to sell and promote goods and services made in Fiji.

Contact us on [email protected] to find out more on how to get your online store on MAKETE.

“We will continue to see a convergence of the digital and physical world. Those who conquer that trend will be market leaders.” – John Phillips

—END–

The Future of E-commerce

E-commerce is a goliath industry. So it is no wonder that people are always asking about the future of e-commerce. It’s also an industry that is ever-changing. Trends are constantly shifting in an attempt to shape the way that people in every corner of the globe purchase products.

This makes the future of e-commerce exciting, to say the least. A lot of big things are expected to change in e-commerce over the coming years. 

We’re here to help you understand what the future of e-commerce will look like

  1. Many services that go online during the pandemic will stay online

Some types of services require in-person meetings. You can’t organise someone’s closet without going to their house, or draw someone’s blood for tests without having them come into the doctor’s office. But service providers and their customers are now learning just how many services can be effectively provided over digital channels. 

Telemedicine and teletherapy are nothing new, but people who may have been hesitant to try them before are now forced to. Some of those that do will find that the digital version works just fine, and removes the headache of sitting in traffic or dealing with parking. The same calculations will happen for other types of service-based businesses, like coaching and IT consulting. 

While there will definitely still be people who prefer the in-person experience with service providers they hire, others will come to take the choice for a more convenient option. 

  1. Website builders will be the design option of choice for small e-commerce businesses

The influx of new e-commerce businesses we predicted above will largely be started by people with little coding or web design experience. In the past, that would have been a significant hurdle to getting an online store off the ground. But in 2022, it’s no problem at all.

Now, new website owners have a number of affordable (or even free) e-commerce website builders they can turn to for creating a website, regardless of their skill level. Website builders provide templates designed by professionals that incorporate user experience best practices. 

New e-commerce entrepreneurs can change up the templates by switching out colors, uploading custom images, and moving elements using drag-and-drop functionality. And in a matter of hours or even minutes, they will have a functional customised e-commerce website ready.

In uncertain economic times like these, the ability to get an online store up fast and affordably will be more attractive to most than taking on a more complicated web design project. Many of the next wave of online stores will therefore be built with the popular website builders now available or potentially with new ones that come onto the market to address the growing interest. 

  1. An explosion of new e-commerce businesses will rise in the wake of COVID-19

The coronavirus has already started to reshape how the economy looks. Brands that previously had a business model entirely dependent on people showing up in-store must now either evolve or shutter. Evolving in the age of shelter-in-place orders means e-commerce. 

While there aren’t good numbers yet as to how many new e-commerce businesses this crisis has spawned and even less known about which of those businesses will survive to the other side of it it seems highly likely that the coronavirus will produce an influx of new online businesses. Some will be an evolved version of brick-and-mortar businesses from before the pandemic, and others will rise entirely in response to the new world.

  1. Mobile shopping will be the norm for a large portion of the population

This is an easy prediction because, well, it’s already true. Over a third of all e-commerce sales happen on smartphones. So while this isn’t a trend that will be new to the future, it still bears mentioning because of how significant a role mobile devices will continue to play in the future of e-commerce.

The continued popularity of mobile shopping will mean businesses must continue (or start) to include mobile devices in their overall marketing strategy. That means determining whether or not building a mobile app for the business makes sense. It may include investing in mobile-specific channels like SMS ads (short message service, the more technical term for text messaging) or running ads on mobile apps. And it definitely, at minimum, means making sure your website is mobile-friendly.  

  1. AI-driven chatbots will take over a share of marketing and customer service

In recent years, the chat boxes that pop up at the bottom of business websites have become a common sight. While sometimes these have a human behind them answering questions in real time, a lot of the time these are chatbots that serve up answers based on artificial intelligence.

AI chatbots can provide a lot of tangible benefits for e-commerce businesses:

  • They can provide answers to common questions visitors have 24/7 (while human customer service employees need to sleep).
  • They can offer personalised product and content recommendations to website visitors based on their interests.
  • They can cut down on the time customer service representatives spend answering basic questions.
  • Every interaction they have with visitors teaches them something about your audience, which makes future answers and information they provide even more useful.

AI chatbots are a prime example of how e-commerce has transformed marketing. As the technology that powers them becomes more affordable and accessible, more businesses are likely to adopt them. They will offload some of the work marketing and customer service departments do now, and provide website visitors with useful information at the moment they are looking for it. 

Nobody knew at this time last year that the world would be so thoroughly changed by a contagious virus. And none of us can know for sure what next year will bring. The best you can do is to stay on top of researching e-commerce trends and predictions, and do what you can to prepare for the changes likely to come.

The future of e-commerce is undoubtedly going to be full of exciting changes and innovations for both businesses and buyers. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, or you’re working at an e-commerce company yourself, it’s important to try to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to changes in the e-commerce landscape.

Our best advice is to keep on learning.

Are you struggling to boost your small business sales?

Are you struggling to boost your small business sales?

Online e-commerce sales can boost your small business!

The Internet has changed the world in almost every possible way, and e-commerce has revolutionised how business is done through shopping and selling. However, many small businesses, even knowing this, still haven’t realised just how large a growth spurt they can get by selling their goods and services online through e-commerce. 

E-commerce is an ever-changing business. It’s part of a digital world that’s been continuously evolving since its creation. Not only that, but we access the web through devices that are becoming more advanced and practical each and every day.

Here are three ways you can see growth in your small business today!

1. Reach new customers and sell more products online

Selling your products online can make a difference in your volume of sales. Many businesses with traditional brick and mortar retail shops are discovering this.

There are also advantages outside of merely extending your customer reach on your own. Through what is known as omni-channel selling, you can tap into online marketplaces such as our state-of-the-art e-commerce platform, MAKETE to reach a new consumer base.

2. Expand further with affiliate sales

One advantage of having an online e-commerce setup is being able to track who and where orders come from. You can create an affiliate program for customers, retail partners, and more to promote your products in exchange for a commission.

This method also works in perfect synergy with blogger outreach, which can grow your presence on social media as well.

3. Schedule appointments and sell time slots

The advantage of e-commerce and online selling doesn’t only apply to small businesses which provide products and goods. Businesses that provide services and consulting can also grow their business with a strong online presence.

You can sell and schedule appointments and bookings directly at the same time, saving you effort and headache to manage a separate calendar. You and your customers also have a better idea of when you will be available and can work together on the best time for you both.

As more and more people come to expect the convenience of shopping online for everything they spend money on, the businesses that cater to this mindset will thrive and flourish. 

E-commerce is a direct gateway to expanding and creating a more stable and cost-effective sales channel for your small business. You owe it to yourself and your business to explore which options can help take your small business to the next level.

MAKETE provides the Vendor with their own e-commerce capability and at the same time allows them to be part of a large multi-vendor marketplace. A Vendor can use the MAKETE platform as their own e-commerce capability i.e. some Vendors have their own website and can link this to MAKETE as their online store. 

Contact us at [email protected] to find out more on how to get your online store on MAKETE!

“When e-commerce companies build scale, cost comes down. Companies that can handle scale and reduce costs over time will win. Margins will come from reducing costs over time and not by increasing prices. Technology is the answer at large scale”. – Sachin Bansal

Are online payments safe?

Is PayPal safe? Is eWallet safe? What is the safest way to pay online? 

Knowing how to pay online securely can be a real challenge.

Online sales are riding a wave of growth, and discussions about the most secure payment method are now even more relevant. Regardless of what side of the transaction you’re on, either as a merchant or as a shopper, you’ve probably found yourself wondering “Are online payments safe?”

Security breaches are the top reason merchants and shoppers still debate what constitutes a secure online payment. But with news of hacked accounts, stolen identities, data breaches, and card fraud, more prevalent in today’s media landscape, merchants and payment providers have doubled up on the security of their digital environments.

Which online payments are secure?

In spite of the ever-optimizing landscape in payments, parties involved in an online transaction may still be burdened by security doubts. Let’s go over the most popular payment methods used in eCommerce today, to evaluate how they stack up in terms of security.

1. Credit cards

Cards are one the safest payment methods available online, given that their usage is regulated by payments compliance standards, such as the 3D secure flows already discussed. Credit cards, in particular, pose even smaller risks in usage for shoppers, as the money used for the purchase, which the shopper pays for later, comes from the issuing bank.

2. Debit cards

The use of debit cards for online shopping also falls under the protection of 3DS standards, which means one-time passwords sent via message or email are employed for purchase authentication. Debit cards and credit cards alike are both protected by Zero Liability Protection programs from Visa and Mastercard. These programs stipulate that card holders are not responsible for unauthorized charges, yet another factor that makes cards safe for online payments.

3. eWallets

Shoppers who don’t want to use cards online have the option to use third-party services, which act as a middleman in the transaction, such as eWallets.

Users can opt-in for stages wallets, like the popular PayPal, a category leader in sending and receiving money online since its launch, or the pass-through wallets like GooglePay or ApplePay.

These services tend to be secure by design, as they don’t share the shopper’s payment data (bank account information). This means the user doesn’t distribute their card information on the sites where they’re shopping, instead of using just the account information for the third-party service with each transaction involving the exchange of unique random codes.

Additionally, many of these services include payback or buyer protection programs, which further enhance the security of the user’s transaction and payment data.

Security of online payments may still be a concern for merchants and shoppers, but as we’ve discussed, there are a lot of mechanisms in place that has brought great developments in the field in recent years and our online platform MAKETE has a lot to offer.

Though the volume of security measures that have to be implemented may seem overwhelming, reliable partners such as banks or payment service providers can take a lot of this complexity out of the merchant’s hands.

Start by understanding what your setup is currently missing and work your way towards gradually reinforcing your online store setup.

MAKETE provides the Vendor with their own e-commerce capability and at the same time allows them to be part of a large multi-vendor marketplace. A Vendor can use the MAKETE platform as their own e-commerce capability i.e. some Vendors have their own website and can link this to MAKETE as their online store. Our online platform MAKETE offers these secure payment features. 
Contact us at [email protected] to find out more on how to get your online store on MAKETE!

24/7 Online Support Service

A 24/7 online support service can be a truly invaluable resource 

Can it make a world of difference to your business?

When it comes to e-commerce websites, it’s all about functionality, design, and the features of e-commerce platforms. 24/7 customer support means customers can get help and find answers to questions as soon as they come up—24/7 and in real-time. The biggest flex of offering 24/7 support is that you provide a more convenient service for your customers. In an always-on world, providing round-the-clock support means your service meets customer expectations, and they can contact you whenever they need you.

Here are some of the advantages of having a 24/7 online support option:

1. It means problems get solved immediately

Depending on what service you offer, it’s possible that your customers or clients simply can’t afford to wait until the morning for a problem to be fixed. If you’ve got a customer service team available at all hours of the day, you’ll be able to offer a better and faster solution than your competition.

2. You won’t lose business

The flip side of this is, of course, that if you work in certain industries you will lose customers to competing businesses that do offer a 24/7 service. In some markets, this can be a vital selling point. Many of our clients work within the funeral industry, for instance, and being able to offer assistance overnight is essential to them, for obvious reasons.

3. You’ll have happier customers

There’s no way around this point. If you’re able to help your customers immediately, rather than in a few hours, they’re more likely to feel well inclined towards your company.

Customer satisfaction is always the biggest factor in profitability, especially for smaller companies, so the earlier you can provide a solution to any problem they might have, the better. A 24/7 support line will often offer a substantial positive ROI, simply because it means customers are more likely to stay with a business that helps them immediately.

4. It demonstrates a positive commitment to your customers

A business that invests in a 24/7 customer service line is demonstrating that they want to truly look after their customers. That they’re committed to helping them as soon as they can. This show of commitment will earn your company a positive reputation within your market, especially if you’re an early adopter of the service.

5. It gives you geographic flexibility

In a world where it pays to be able to serve as many countries as possible, a 24/7 customer service network can be invaluable. A client on the other side of the world is simply more likely to work with your company if they know they can call you for assistance on their schedule, rather than yours.

There is no doubt that e-commerce will continue to grow. Though providing 24×7 customer support may sound a lot of work or expensive, however, it is a long-term play and you are investing in building customer relationships. If done rightly, it will not only provide timely customer support but also increase customer retention, and give your brand a competitive advantage that a few brands can match. A positive reputation of your company will do wonders for the growth of your business, increasing your customer base and improved sales will roll in. Our online platform Makete has these features and can take your business to the next level. 

MAKETE provides the Vendor with their own e-commerce capability and at the same time allows them to be part of a large multi-vendor marketplace. A Vendor can use the MAKETE platform as their own e-commerce capability i.e. some Vendors have their own website and can link this to MAKETE as their online store. Our online platform MAKETE offers these secure payment features. 

Contact us at [email protected] to find out more on how to get your online store on MAKETE!

Do you have a business and are struggling to grow it?

Increase your business sales online!

The Internet has changed the world in almost every possible way, and e-commerce has revolutionised how business is done through shopping and selling online. However, many small businesses, even knowing this, still haven’t realised just how large a growth spurt they can see by selling their goods and services online through e-commerce. While there are certain groups of people that are more Internet active than others, everyone is online these days. By selling online, you open your shop up to a huge market of people from all walks of life. 

The Internet is the biggest market of shoppers in history. By connecting with this incredible marketplace, you can grow sales and your customer base to a far greater degree than if you only exist offline. Once your e-commerce is enabled you can sell well beyond the borders of your usual consumer base.

Here are some ways in which e-commerce helps with business reach:

  1. Cost savings

An e-commerce store requires complete automation of the purchasing process, undertaking check-out, invoicing, and payment processing, thus reducing the need for additional staff to manage these aspects of the business.

Online e-commerce also offers relatively low-cost engagement with existing customers and promotes the business to countless potential new customers. SMEs can save on the often-prohibitive costs of traditional advertising and marketing activities.

  1. Information at your fingertips

The information generated through online sales provides businesses an easy way to evaluate the effectiveness of any sales campaign, measure the success of marketing campaigns and of other customer engagement initiatives.

Detailed information is at the fingertips of existing and potential customers. You can provide easy access to in-depth information about every product you sell in your online store, which can be a great tool to help attract and retain customers. Analysis of data helps businesses understand the spending patterns of customers to better meet customer needs and offer them suitable products every time they visit the online store.

  1. Global reach

E-commerce provides an opportunity to break free of the limitations that physical outlets impose, enabling small businesses to sell their items of inventory stock to the world.  E-commerce can expand small businesses networks across geographical borders to reach a greater number of countries. Consumers research products online to gather information and compare the many options available. Search engine optimisation can therefore be used effectively to boost small and medium-sized enterprises’ visibility to potential customers across the globe.

  1. Low barriers to trade

E-commerce has also helped to break down barriers by providing a way for developing countries, young entrepreneurs, rural workers, and women to participate in international trade.

With the advancement in Internet technologies, an online presence can be set up at a fraction of the cost of a physical store. This allows start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises to set up online with a minimal investment in e-commerce solutions.

  1. Cashflow

Automating as many administrative tasks as possible is key to improving your cash flow and e-commerce by nature is an automated shopping experience that can help generate a flow of short-term revenue. Because your online store doesn’t sleep, customers can shop from anywhere at any time, at their own convenience. Money that may have previously been invested in a physical store can now be used in other areas of the business.

For small and medium-sized enterprises to succeed online, they need to ensure the ability of the business to flow easily throughout the entire e-commerce chain. This means more than just establishing a business online. In addition, small and medium-sized enterprises need to determine how they will manage after-sales services.

Ultimately, the test for an SME in e-commerce is the ability of the business to deliver quality products, quickly and efficiently to anywhere their customers are, across the globe.

MAKETE is Fiji’s first private sector multi-vendor platform built from the ground up for micro and small enterprises. The sole intent of MAKETE is to provide an inexpensive avenue for the community to sell goods and services online.

Contact us at [email protected] to find out more on how to get your online store on MAKETE. 

“My vision is to build an e-commerce ecosystem that allows consumers and businesses to do all aspects of business online”. – Jack Ma

How to effectively respond to customer complaints?

Customer complaints are timeless. No matter the size, nature, or success of your business, you will always have at least a small percentage of people who aren’t happy with what you do. The idea that you can’t please everyone is as true today as it was a century ago.

But never before in history has it been easier for customers to complain. To criticise a business, customers don’t have to take the time to talk with you. They can simply pick up their phone, type a few angry sentences, and hit send via email, review sites like Google, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, or any number of online forums and discussion boards.

Unlike the old days, customers don’t have to be loyal to any one business: they will just Google your competitors. Since a customer service makes the backbone of any successful business, you can’t afford to turn off a customer. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to first understand what might be causing your customers to say, “I’m not buying anything from you again.”

Here is few suggested steps you can follow when responding to customer complaints

  1. Listen to or read the customer’s complaint

When you have a customer complaint, your first job is to listen to the issue and focus on what your customer is experiencing. Regardless of whether the complaint is over a price increase, a bad meal, or a service outage, your customer is reaching out to you to express their frustration.

It’s easy to become defensive or to write off the complaint, but keep in mind that complaints rarely exist in a vacuum if one customer is coming to you with this complaint, several others are keeping quiet about the same one. A customer’s complaint should always be treated as legitimate, so give their story your full attention and empathy. 

  1. Take a moment to process the criticism

Some feedback can hit hard. It’s not easy to acknowledge that you let a customer down, but getting to the root of the problem is an essential step to properly handling the complaint. If you get this feedback online such as through an online review or through social media you have some time to understand where the customer is coming from. 

This will be a bit harder if you are getting this criticism in real-time, like in person or over a phone call. The latter situation calls on you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes sooner than later and truly prioritise fixing the issue which can only be done if you listen to the complaint and digest the meaning within it.

  1. Determine what action you will take to address the problem

Customer complaints can be commonplace, so chances are you will know how to solve an issue almost immediately after listening to the details behind it. However, as you are well aware, sometimes a complaint comes completely out of the left field and you are not sure what to do. If you need some time to think about the best course of action, be honest with your customers. Tell them you need time to figure out how you can best make it up to them and provide a timeline for when you will reach out with a solution or better yet, ask customers what they need for you to make it up to them, and figure out if their request is doable.

  1. Thank the customer for their feedback

We have harkened back to this idea a few times, but it’s important the majority of customers who have complaints with your business will not communicate them to you. That can leave you totally in the dark about how your customers really feel. Therefore, the first thing you should say when responding to a customer complaint is “thank you for letting me know.”

There’s no law that states customers have to share feedback or leave a review. Some customers feel uncomfortable confronting businesses with negativity and would rather just ignore the issue or stop doing business with you altogether. The information that feedback contains can radically improve your customer experience, so even if the comments don’t make you feel good at the moment, you should still thank customers for their insight.

  1. Apologise and repeat your understanding of the issue

Immediately after thanking the customer, you should apologise for what happened and express empathy by explaining your understanding of the situation. This response thanks the customer for sharing feedback, apologises for the issue, explains what led to the situation, and shows an understanding of how the issue affected the customer. 

  1. Clearly outline your plan to remedy the situation

A proper response to a customer complaint is incomplete without an explanation of what happens next. These days, it’s best practice to go above and beyond when remedying customer complaints. 

  1. Thank the customer again and offer follow-up information

If you have followed the steps up until now, the complaint should be sufficiently addressed and your customer should feel like the issue has been fully resolved. If that’s the case, thank the customer once again for reaching out and offer follow-up information or instructions if the customer needs to get back in touch with you.

This step is particularly important for online reviews, which contain much less back-and-forth discussion (if any) compared to complaints made over email, on the phone, via social media, or in person. If customers are writing a review online, they might not have the contact information to follow up with the best person, so consider leaving the name, phone number, and/or email address of the person to speak to at the end of a negative online review.

  1. Check in to see if the customer is happy with the result

After some time has passed, you should follow up with customers to see if they are satisfied with the resolution. Some issues can be followed up with a few days or even weeks after they were resolved, while more time-sensitive ones warrant a follow-up within a day.

Use your gut here it’s better to over-communicate after a customer complaint than the other way around, as it shows you really do care about the problem and wish to make up for it.

  1. Incorporate changes from customer feedback.

After all is said and done, it’s time to follow through with your promises. If you complained about a mishap and were promised a change that didn’t happen, wouldn’t you be pretty upset?

Not every complaint warrants a change in business strategy. This is on you to listen carefully, draw connections between complaints, and determine if larger action is warranted. If you receive multiple complaints about one employee, one product, or one feature, that probably means there’s a problem with that employee, product, or feature that needs to be addressed.

MAKETE provides state of the art digital e-commerce platform to CONNECT (communities, buyers & sellers), LEARN (business training) and EARN (selling products and services).

Join our business training sessions. In our next upcoming training session LEARN about branding and getting your own business website.

Register Now! Email – [email protected] by Wednesday, 18 May 2022.

#customercomplaints #smallbusiness #smes #msmes #fijiproducts #makete #maketefiji #ecommerce #maketeecommerce 

How Small Businesses Should Approach Digital Transformation?

Today’s connected world has led to the age of the customer: Powered by technology and the internet, customers have higher expectations than ever before. Mobile has led consumers to be always on, connected and in control. Social Media has created a digital influencer community that has brought instant gratification and convenience.

This shift has resulted in changes to business rules for brands. We are seeing enterprise brands respond by prioritising customer experience and deploying digital transformation strategies. Digital transformation fundamentally changes how enterprises operate and deliver value to customers, by integrating digital technology into all areas of the business.

Brand focus on digital transformation is a result of increasing competition and the need to drive customer value by leading changes. Successful deployment of digital transformation includes modern technology, vendors and cultural support across the organisation. Enterprises have the advantage of larger budgets and access to technology vendors that can help them transform their businesses. However, prioritising digital transformation isn’t just for enterprises; it benefits small businesses too.

As consumer expectations have increased, Small and Micro Businesses have the same impetus to change as large enterprises. However, there are some dissimilarities between enterprises and small business:

  • Budget and time

Most enterprises need to transform complex solutions and, therefore, need larger budgets and typically have a longer runway to get it right. However, the opposite is true for small businesses: They have smaller budgets and a shorter time period to transform. As a result, simplifying digital transformation to focus on the most important areas to integrate digital technology (versus all areas of the business) and having a tailored playbook are critical for their success.

  • People and culture

Enterprises can hire leaders who are responsible for digital transformation and can leverage these initiatives to invigorate culture and inject energy into the organization. Many small businesses lack similar executive support needed to drive transformation.

  • Consultant support

Enterprises can fund and engage consulting firms to provide them with the road map to drive transformation. Smaller businesses may not have the same luxury or budget. Given these challenges, some small businesses choose to stand still. However, with 84% of customers prioritizing experience as much as actual products and services, digital transformation is a requirement for all small businesses to support the modern consumer.

Having a simplified digital transformation strategy that is prioritized to drive the most value — and partnering with the right vendor to help execute against the strategy — can be the key to propelling small businesses to drive successful transformation.

Leveraging vendors can be a key strategic decision to help small businesses to transform. As a small business, look for vendors that recognize that digital transformation and customer-centricity ultimately drive to the same outcome. 

Here are some specific things to look for in a vendor:

• Has expertise in your industry or business model: Find a vendor that deeply understands your industry vertical and specific business needs. This will ensure that their approach will be tailored to drive success for your company.

• Enables you to have access to consumers: Find a vendor that can use their platform to provide you with rich insights about your own customers. Data-driven insights allow for up-leveling CX, including running loyalty programs, workflow optimization, etc.

• Invests in technology, including machine learning (ML): Find a vendor that invests in ML algorithms that turn customer insights into personalized experiences that can enable small businesses to better prepare for the digital future.

• Has a robust set of integrations: Find vendors that have hooks into other commonly used tools and services. This will ensure that you are successfully migrating the whole business to cater to the digital customer.

• Prioritizes customer care: Find vendors that prioritize customer care for their own platform. Having vendors that prioritize customer care will guarantee that they can successfully guide you through the transformation process.

• Actively challenges you to think about driving consumers to digital: Finally, find vendors that actively challenge and support you to drive change.

In conclusion, remember the why. Digital transformation ensures that SMBs can continue to deliver value to customers while supporting their changing behaviors and needs. Digital transformation for small businesses starts with a strategy and a clear road map, but success comes with having the right vendor(s) to drive the transformation.

Small and Micro Businesses: How big is still considered small?

A small business is defined as a privately owned entity that has fewer employees and less annual revenue compared to  a large corporation or regular-sized business. The definition of “small”—in terms of being able to apply for government support—varies by Industry. 

While small businesses often can implement the same quality management systems found in larger corporations, they may face different challenges along the way. For instance, small businesses tend to have fewer human resources and less up-front capital to dedicate to quality initiatives.

However, being a business owner can be extremely rewarding.  One must have the courage to take a risk and start a venture. Success brings with it many advantages, such as: 

  • Independence. As a business owner, you’re your own boss. You can’t get fired. More importantly, you have the freedom to make the decisions that are crucial to your own business success.
  • Lifestyle. Owning a small business gives you certain lifestyle advantages. Because you’re in charge, you decide when and where you want to work. If you want to spend more time on non-work activities or with your family, you don’t have to ask for time off.
  • Learning opportunities. As a business owner, you’ll be involved in all aspects of your business. This situation creates numerous opportunities to gain a thorough understanding of the various business functions.

As the little boy said when he got off his first roller-coaster ride, “I like the ups but not the downs!” 

Here are some of the risks you run if you want to start a small business:

  • Financial risk. The financial resources needed to start and grow a business can be extensive. You may need to commit most of your savings or even go into debt to get started. 
  • Stress. As a business owner, you are the business. There’s a bewildering array of things to worry about—competition, employees, bills, equipment breakdowns, customer problems. As the owner, you’re also responsible for the well-being of your employees.
  • Time commitment. People often start businesses so that they’ll have more time to spend with their families. Unfortunately, running a business is extremely time-consuming.