Try To Keep Your Customers Happy (written November, 2006)
It has been truly said that a satisfied customer may tell one or two friends about your products or services. A dissatisfied customer will tell twenty or more people about the bad treatment he got at your hands! Bad news travels fast! In our industry, it travels lightning fast!
I know all about this from a recent experience. I bought a product from a local store and after using it once, found that is was in far from perfect condition. I brought it back to the dealer to see what he would do about it. He told me, in no uncertain terms, that he wouldn’t do anything about the matter. Then, I said that since it appeared to be a manufacturing defect that he should return it to the manufacturer. He then told me that was useless since the company would do nothing and return it back to him. Not at all satisfied with this excuse, I called the public relations department of the manufacturer and told them my story. They outright called the dealer a liar, sent me special instructions on how and where to return the product. Within a very short time, I had a brand new, perfect item back in my hands. You can be sure that I will become an active booster of this manufacturer but I have already told many friends to steer clear of the dealer. And the people I spoke to were all prospective customers. It wouldn’t cost the dealer anything to take the product back and return it to the manufacturer. And, he would have made a friend and repeat customer. Now he looks bad to me and has lost me as customer forever and he has also lost some potential customers as well. A pretty bad piece of public relations on his part I must say.
I don’t know how things are in your area but I am getting upset about the service I have been receiving in the area I live. Too many stores employ rude clerks who act like they are doing you a favor when you buy something from them. Too many service people who attempt to overcharge you when they feel that you don’t know much about their service. You know what I mean – electricians who tell you that wiring has to be replaced when it doesn’t need to be; Plumbers who do the same and so on and so on. And on top of that, many fail to show up for appointments and never call to advise that they are not coming. Darn annoying, especially if you have taken time off from work or have stayed in the house for hours waiting.
Well, I’m fed up with it. Once this happens to me, I refuse to go back into that store. I refuse to use that particular serviceman. There are others and if you keep looking, you will find polite salespeople, polite, fair and honest service people. I have found good people and I’m a loyal, repeat customer and I make it my business to tell others.
Let all this be a lesson to all of you. Be fair and honest in your dealings with customers. Sure you might make a few extra bucks off some unsuspecting customer but you could end up losing a good customer and getting some bad worth of mouth advertising. Make sure the products you sell are all in 100% condition before you deliver the merchandise.
We have to be realistic too – especially in our business – way too many people expect way too much for what they purchase. If you can, try and be polite, but firm in explaining this to them. Even if they remain unhappy, at least you did the right thing and tried. Trying goes a long way in MLM!
With all this bad service going on around you, you have a perfect opportunity to build a solid business. Go by the golden rule: “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” There’s no reason you can’t be miles ahead of the pack with the way so many so-called business people are treating their customers. It takes a minute to be polite and it doesn’t take any special effort to be honest in your dealings. It may take a little extra time and effort to do the job right as against just slapping it together. But it will pay off handsomely for you as you build a steady list of satisfied customers that you can go to for recommendations.
So remember – For success in a business of your own, make it your number one priority to try and keep your customers happy.
The author of this article is Larry Costello, President of All-American Print & Mail, 2200 Wilson Blvd #102-57, Arlington, VA 22201.