Hey Guys! In my last post I dwelled on managing the perception of your customers towards your business. Today I’m going to dwell on something as more important – Managing the Customer Relationship.
Few months ago, I had a chat with an employee at a restaurant. Apparently she was having a bad day and she made sure the customers got a handful. Anyway, we started talking and I asked her “who pays your salary?” After a slight hesitation, she replied “my boss of course.” “Wrong” I said “your boss doesn’t pay your salary. At best, he is just a conduit for cash transfer. The customers pay your salary. So you might want to take good care of them.” I could tell she had not heard that before.
Most people spend time, energy and money trying to get new customers, only to throw them away by their actions and behavior. Every person on earth no matter how religious or morally upright they may be, has an ego; it is your job to stroke it. Your customers are your most valuable asset; and you must always make them feel exactly so – valuable. Let me share some tips on that:
1. Do not underestimate the power of your “little” customer: The client who only buys products of a few hundred can become one (or better still recommend someone) who will buy products worth millions. LITTLE CUSTOMERS CAN BECOME BIG CUSTOMERS. When your business is small, most of your customers will be small. When you eventually grow big, never despise the “little guys”
2. Never cheat your customers just to sell your merchandise: This is a big NO-NO. Your customers are not fools, they know when they have been cheated. And even if they did not, they will know eventually. Your goal should not be to make unusual profit at the expense of your customers, but to make them brand/product evangelist. You do not do that by short-changing them.
3. Always give the royal treatment: Treat every customer with utmost respect even when they are not buying. Your treatment may make them buy; and you need their money except maybe you are running a charity. Even if you are, you still need money, so…………..royal treatment.
So what do you do when your old customers stop patronizing you?
ASK questions.
Do not assume that you know why they stopped, ask them. Inquire to know how better you can serve them. Perhaps their preference changed and you needed to upgrade the value of your product/service; or they moved away.
Whichever it is, just ask. Your customers want to know you care more about them not just their money.
Finally, never argue with a customer. Yes they may be difficult to handle at times but you must understand that in your relationship with your customers, only one side has the right to ego, and it’s not you.
Understand this concept and it may just be what you need for the next level.