Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Breaking Customer Promises


I am not a happy camper.

The kopitiam (coffeeshop) near my place, which I frequent very often, is undergoing renovation. They put up a sign declaring that business would resume on the 10th of July. It’s already the 16th, but the kopitiam still has not reopened for business.  I found out from the contractors that they needed additional time for National Environment Agency (NEA) officers to inspect the place.

The trouble is, for the kopitiam, your customers don’t care what kind of problems you are facing. All they know is that you have broken your customer promise – and failed to deliver.

In another incident I placed a business order of goods that a supplier promised would take 5 weeks, from concept and design to actual shipment, to deliver. It has been more than 2 months, and I was just told I can only receive the goods in another two weeks.

The issue here is trust.  In your anxiety to nail a deal or sale, you may have over-promised customers. If you do, make sure you deliver.  And you can’t give a “we’re cheap what, what do you expect?” kind of excuse – unless you want your reputation to be known as cheap-but-unreliable.

Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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