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For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Setting up a customer care programme - checklist

From demonstrating that you understand your customers to handling complaints promptly and effectively, learn how to set up a customer care programme.

  • Learn as much as possible about what your customers want - encourage them to provide feedback (both positive and negative) and make it easy for them to do so. Respond to negative feedback swiftly.
  • Demonstrate that you understand your customers - for example, by keeping records of their purchases on your CRM system and only offering them products or offers that meet their needs.
  • Design systems which suit your customers, such as easy online ordering and fast delivery. Give them options such as next day delivery - there will be an extra cost, but they may be happy to pay it.
  • Set clear service standards and train employees to meet them.
  • Keep your promises and exceed expectations - provide advance warning of any problems or changes.
  • Ensure all employees understand their role in satisfying customers - consider offering incentives for good customer care performance.
  • Regularly contact customers - personalise emails and letters, provide information that is useful to them and express your appreciation for their business.
  • Make it easy for customers to contact you by providing a named contact or account manager - answer phone calls and reply to emails promptly.
  • Delegate authority to customer-facing employees to allow them to make decisions and resolve problems.
  • Handle complaints promptly and effectively.
  • Keep records of all customer contact and use this information to improve your understanding of individual customers and their requirements.
  • Ensure that all customer-facing employees have easy access to customer and product information.
  • Analyse the profitability of different customers or market segments - provide superior care to your most profitable customers.
  • Consider offering valued customers extras - for example, first choice on special offers, loyalty bonuses, coupons and discount offers, a service helpline or an invite to special customer events and product launches.

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