18 April 2013

Are your customers revolting?

Let’s be honest, life would be so much easier if we didn’t have those pesky customers bothering us all day long. They ring, they visit, they email, they expect us to drop everything to attend to their every need. They really get in the way of running a business. What on earth can we do to stop these irritating disruptions that drag us away from all of the other important things that need to be done?

Well the answer of course is to keep that exact attitude up and the problem will be solved once and for all. Just give it a little time and you will have no customers to distract you, bother you or irritate you. Of course you won’t have any money, but hey, at least it will be peaceful.

As silly as this sounds, we all encounter businesses that seem to have this attitude firmly ingrained within their culture. They treat their customers with barely concealed contempt, sometimes even being outwardly rude.

From my experience, they are the same business owners who blame everyone else  – the Government, the Council, the competition, the internet, the Greeks – when they inevitably go broke.

Any small business (or large business for that matter), that is not 100% customer centric, is in my opinion destined for doom. Getting this right is actually not that hard, all you have to do is make a promise and be totally committed to delivering on that promise.

If you really want to upset your customers, make them a promise and fail to deliver. To really make them cranky, give them the run around at the same time. Sadly this happens all too often and most of us have experienced the frustration of turning up at a business to pick up our order, only to find that it hasn’t arrived and no one has bothered to let us know.

The same issue applies with turning up for an appointment and you’re kept waiting. You managed to get there on time, but the business is not organised enough to see you on time. Or booking someone to come to your house at a certain time and they turn up four hours late, if at all. The most common broken promise comes from those businesses that simply can’t return a telephone call.

When it comes to being more successful as a small business, the place to start is always with your existing customers. Put your hand on your heart and ask yourself “what can I do better?”.  How can I improve my communication, how can I speed up my service, is my follow up as good as it could and should be?

Successful businesses are committed to one thing – constant and never ending improvement, particularly when it comes to how they treat their customers. Master this and people will rave about you and your business, which is of course the best way to ensure a never ending stream of new customers coming your way.

Andrew Griffiths

2 thoughts on “Are your customers revolting?”

  1. Hi Andrew,
    thanks for the opportunity to get this one off my chest !
    A ton of businesses don’t even realise how much damage they are doing to their investment.
    They can be totally oblivious that they are doing constant damage to their business. And yet, serving and servicing the customer is or should be the easiest part of business operations. Anyone can serve a customer but to provide a Customer Experience is something most businesses lack.

    They actually believe that if you get served you should be right, have nothing to complain about, and believe they’ve
    done their job.
    Yet very rarely can we say, we had a fantastic customer experience.
    I believe THIS IS WHY people have turned to on-line shopping in droves – they don’t have to put up with the “I’m so important” attitude from sales/service staff, they don’t get confronted with that degrading feeling of “you’re interrupting me ” and all those other nasties we experience.

    Until businesses come to the realisation that the Customer is the life blood of the business and treat them as such, we will continue to see more of them closing their doors.

  2. Hello Loretta,

    I hear you!!!! Feel free to have a rant anytime you like. The concept of customer service is a surprisingly simple one, that so many businesses get so wrong. Yet they spend a fortune on attracting new customers – instead of just getting their service right with the ones who are already walking in the door.

    Seems like madness to me!


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