LOVE THEM OR LOSE THEM

The way in which companies treat their customers really does make a difference. Business owners and stockholders should insist from their employees the highest level of honesty, integrity and responsiveness at every level when it comes to dealing with customers.

Most customers have made contact with a business because they think they have a need for products or services. The customer usually has many options from which to choose and they money to cover the cost of the purchase. The marketing program of the business, the location of the business and the reputation of the business usually drive where the customer goes. The actual purchasing decision is most often based on price and how they are treated. The cost to generate new clients and customers has consistently been determined far greater than maintaining existing clients, however for a business to flourish it must pay attention to both. Let’s take a look at two real life local examples of customer care.

In a recent change of residence I contacted three local moving companies with national ties and national marketing. I received quotes from all three and made my decision based on price, signed the contract and arranged a move date about two weeks out. After not hearing from the company again I called the day before the move to make sure all was a go and was told it was. Moving day the big blue and white truck with a red arrow on the side showed up an hour late and only after I placed another call to inquire of their whereabouts. The move took twice as long as the company estimated and they charged me double their original estimate. I placed my first call to the company the following day to try and understand why the actual cost was twice the original and never received a call back. After placing many more calls and not speaking with anyone I made a friendly unannounced visit to their south Francis Street office, met with the Operations Manager and was told that she was aware of my concern and would get back with me the following day with a response…that was six days ago even with three reminder calls from me. Yes, in this case money is the object but this lack of customer follow-up and customer care is at issue as well. I have relocated over 1000 people to the Longmont area as apart of my profession and you can bet that this company will never again receive my recommendation.

On the positive side of the customer care equation is Mees and Kaminski Eye Care Center. After running my prescription sunglasses through the washer and dryer laundry cycles at home I needed to have them replaced or repaired. I took them back to Mees and Kaminski, explained what I did… oh so embarrassing, and was immediately seen by a technician. As is usually the case with warranties I was past the coverage date so the tech disappeared into the back room, superglued the frame and after they had dried, returned to refit them to my head before sending me on my way with a smile and no charge. Will I go back there when it is time for more eye care? You bet and I’ll share the good news of good service with other prospective new customers.

Owners and Managers, taking care of your customers is even more important than taking care of your employees, your inventory, your facility or your bottom line; for without customers, you won’t need to care for the others.

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