Category Archives: Local Kona Business

Three Ways We’re Trying to Improve Our Customer Service

Exceptional customer service is not a destination; it is a process of evolving and becoming better. I seldom see a business that does everything right all the time.

customer service word cloud

At the beginning of this year, Kona Impact set out to improve all our processes, from our invoicing and billing systems to our project management and communications systems. We put everything on the table and tried to find ways to do them better. Most of the changes we made are not visible to our customers, but they help us plan, implement and bill our projects more efficiently.

One thing we did was move to a space that is more than twice as big as our old office. This allowed us to have a dedicated production room, and a lot more storage space. The additional personal and work space is great, and it allows us to meet one of our primary goals this year: same day and next day turnaround on many of our products.

We now keep more than enough inventory to allow us to fulfill almost all banner, foam core, PVC and aluminum sign orders in a day. This is what we would want as consumers, so we are trying to provide this to our customers.

Another thing we did was to expand our deliveries to clients. So, for example, a customer staying at a resort in the Waikoloa area can, if the order meets certain criteria, expect same or next day delivery on a print or sign order. A local client can expect us to drop off most orders the same or next day.download movie Everest 2015

fast delivery

Finally, we try to recognize companies that do an exceptional job at customer service. This might include a mention on our blog or writing a positive Yelp! or TripAdvisior review.

We hope that by observing others, we can learn and grow. Likewise, we strive to help new businesses by sharing what we have learned.

So, 2015 has given us some new ways to serve our customers better:

  1. More space and inventory to reduce production time and allow same and next day turnaround.
  2. Expanded delivery options.
  3. Focusing on learning and growing by implementing best practices we see with other businesses.

We’ve been meeting our goals most of the time, and have far exceeded them some of the time. Just last week we had a local restaurant bring in their large beer sign. We made a proof, got it approve, updated the sign and delivered it in less than 24 hours. We also put some vinyl signage on a local retailer the same day they requested it. Yesterday we had a consultant who needed several reports printed and bound that day. We did so and delivered them to the Mauna Lani, allowing her to spend two  more hours enjoying her time in Hawaii instead of driving to Kailua-Kona and back.

Are we going to get everything right all the time? Certainly not. Are we going to learn from our mistakes and seek new ways of becoming more customer-centric? Absolutely.

Kona Impact has been helping new and established businesses on Hawaii Island for since 2006. We’ve  seen boom and bust economies and have worked with hundreds of local businesses on their design and marketing needs.

Kona Impact   | 329-6077

 

Value Vs. Price and Buying Local in Hawaii

I had two interesting conversations within minutes of each other last week—one with a client and one with another small business owner in Kona who was not a client.

I was helping the person (who was not a client) re-hang a banner that had fallen down. I noticed that it was of very poor quality, both in terms of printing and materials. In fact, the reason it had fallen down was that it was not hemmed and only had plastic tabs in the corners, which had ripped.

I asked the person where he got the banner, and he quickly answered:  “I got it online. I am a small business owner, and I need to save money.” I asked him what he paid for the banner including shipping and the cost of her time to set up and design the banner. He looked perplexed and said, “I paid $75, including shipping. My time was free.”

A few things came to mind immediately:

  1. How can he expect people to buy locally at his store if he is unwilling to do so himself? After all, what he sells can be bought online, and, I would suspect, that his products can be bought more cheaply online. He wants others to do what he is unwilling to do.
  2. His time is not free! If he spent an hour with the design and order process, that’s an hour he could not spend doing something else. Is his time worth $30, $50 or $100 an hour?
  3. If he had talked to us about his banner needs, we would have come very close to what he paid online. Kona Impact also would have had it done in one business day, and if it didn’t turn out right, he could have resolved the issue quickly.

About 30 minutes later, a client stopped by to pick up some things, and, as we do when time allows, we spent a few minutes “talking story”. This business owner is very successful, has probably 100 employees and lives a very comfortable life.

She never asks about price; instead she is very focused on getting the projects done quickly and to a high degree of quality. She is very focused on moving forward and growing her businesses, and she knows what she knows and knows what she doesn’t know. She is great at delegating.

The guy is clearly a price shopper; he only looks at the price tag and makes his decisions (however erroneously) based on cost. Value, personal connections, community and his own time are far less important to him. For certain, there are many people who approach business the same way.

Cheap Work Aint

The woman is a value shopper. She understands that price is part of the equation, but time, quality, durability, community, personal relationships and developing reliable suppliers are also important.

The woman, I’m certain, is a very wealthy; the man, I’m certain, is not.

If you’re purely a price shopper, give us a call, because you might be surprised.

If you’re a value shopper, definitely give us a call, as we’ve based our business on providing value to our clients. Whether it is same or next day service or sharing our local knowledge and connections, we strive to provide our clients with superior products and services.

Kona Impact | 74-5599 Luhia Street | 329-06077