“This Would Be a Great Business If It Weren’t for the Customers!"

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December 11  |  Business, Customer Relations  |   VCoker
Van Coker, Vice President of Marketing Firepower

Every employee…every manager….and, most likely, every business owner gets extremely frustrated with customers from time to time. You know the kind. There’s the customer who asks for a “little extra.” The customer who can’t make the buying decision as quickly as you would like when you’re busy. The customer you spend hours with only to see them actually buy from your competitor. What a great business this would be if it weren’t for the customers.

Customer Service MarketingWhoa! Wait a minute! These inconsiderate, unthinking, greedy customers are the very people that pay your bills…keep your employees employed…put a roof over your head…send your kids to college…send you on vacations…fund your retirement…and provide the opportunity for you to enjoy the good life yourself. Without these people you wouldn’t have any sales. And without any sales you don’t have a business.

A very successful grocer once told me his secret to not only keeping customers, but also keeping the peace with unreasonable or irate customers. He asked each employee to picture dollar signs on the customer’s forehead. It didn’t matter if they were buying a fifty-cent candy bar (this was some time ago) or fifty dollars in groceries. To him, each customer had $157,000.00 tattooed in big, bold numbers on their forehead. That figure represented the average lifetime expenditure of the grocery shopper (much higher today.) It didn’t matter what they were spending today. What mattered was keeping the customer happy…and getting them to come back next time, and the next time, and many, many, many times after that.

Think about it. How might that change the way your employees…your manager…even you, the owner, interact with customers who might be pushing your buttons? You are in business to create customers…serve customers…keep them coming back…and having them tell their friends what a wonderful business your business is to do business with.

How much will your average customer spend over a lifetime with you? Now add the dollars their friends might spend. And their friends’ friends?

So next time you think about telling your customer to “kiss off”….remember the dollar signs on the forehead. Without customers——-you wouldn’t have a business.

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