How responsive are you to your client’s needs?
Do you have all the business you want?
I am currently living in Michigan where unemployment is over 13% with foreclosures and short sales at an all time high. People are working harder than ever for less remuneration. You would assume that small businesses would be striving to keep their paying clients.
The following experiences happened to me in the same month:
- A local company did not have their hours of operation posted in an area that was easily seen when the business was closed. Since I had trouble catching the retail establishment open, I recommended a more noticeable location and was brushed off by the owner.
- I hired an irrigation company. They didn’t complete the work as I expected it to be done. They sent out a second crew who found additional problems that I also paid for. I called the company to discuss the issue because the employees informed me the owner discounted my concerns. I ended up hanging up on the owner because he was so rude.
- I hired a solo entrepreneur to do some landscape work. The work was inferior to my standards. In describing what I actually wanted, he informed me that I didn’t need the work I was requesting. I paid the invoice just to get him to leave my property.
In the first case, I was suggesting a way for customers to more easily access his services. I had gone by 3 times before finding him open because I couldn’t see the hours that were posted behind the gate. Since he didn’t seem too concerned about wasting my time with multiple trips, I won’t be too concerned about being a loyal customer.
In the following two instances I tried to inform each business how they could earn more of MY money. I was willing to pay for these services to be completed, in the manner I wanted, at a dollar amount they specified! They assumed I wanted discounted pricing when in reality I only wanted a job well done. It costs less to keep the customers you have happy than to be constantly looking for new ones.
How are you listening to your clients? Have you fallen into the “bad economy” mentality? Don’t assume your clients aren’t willing to pay for a quality service!