Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Customer demands

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     Keeping your customers and clients happy can take lots of your time. It is time well-spent. You do whatever it takes to keep customers coming back. If they are not happy, they might not return.

     Customers and clients generally fall into several different categories. Some will complain about everything--it's who they are. Others are the silent types--you never hear anything from them, good or bad. Still others are actively involved with your products or services--you get referrals from them because they are naturally gregarious. 

     So, the demands of your clients and customers have effects on you and your business. It's up to you to sort out customer demands and act accordingly. 

     Example: Jillian designs and sell jewelry through her small shop and through her website. She uses social media to promote her jewelry and this drives customers to the website. She got an email from a customer complaining that the earrings she received were not the ones she ordered. Jillian immediately responded, telling the customer that the correct earrings were already on the way, and "just keep both pairs of earrings, our compliments." The customer thanked Jillian profusely and posted great reviews on social media. 

     Example: Paul operates a small auto repair shop. He has a single lift and two employees. Paul is frequently tackling repairs himself when the phone rings. He lets it go to voice mail, but no one was leaving a message. Paul realized that customers were not being properly handled. He hired a part time, mornings-only person to answer phones and other offices duties. Customers now always get a response when they call--by the second ring. 

     Example: Delano operates a health foods store with a small staff. He got called aside by a customer who complained about treatment by one of the employees. Delano thanked the customer and began watching his operation more closely. He noticed that the employee in question was indeed terse and quick to dismiss customers' questions. Delano began working with the employee to present a better attitude to customers. It has worked out well for Delano, the employee and the customers.

     Simple changes in your operation can sometimes make all the difference in the world dealing with customers. Other times, it can be more difficult to remedy the situation. It's up to you to do whatever it takes.

     Always listen to your clients and customers--whatever their complaint. Then, handle it. The goal is to retain the relationship over the long term. 


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