Customers

As a provider of a service or product, the customer is the one you want to focus on and please most, for the simple reason that your 'job' or the reason why you are in business is to provide a service … to them. And so, it makes sense to ensure that your customer gets the best service and a wonderful experience as this defines your business ethics, what you do, the quality and the standards by which you operate.

In business just as in life – things do not always go well and entrepreneurs are often faced with not-so-pleasant situations that are not too conducive for business. However, setting high standards in the beginning often helps navigate muddy waters.

Here are some reminders of things customers do not particularly care about and the faster you clear these hurdles, the greater of a probability you have for making the sale and retaining them.

5 things customers do not care about:

1. Why you are late for an appointment. Explanations like 'I got stuck in traffic", "had to take my child to school because the school bus broke down", "my receptionist was running late", "my car broke down", though legit due to unforeseen circumstances, are not always welcome by customers or business prospects. At the back of their minds, they are thinking, "… so what? I was here on time, you should have been here on time too!" It tends to leave a negative impression on them. However, in case you are ever late – which happens to be every serious entrepreneur's nightmare – sincerely apologize, but keep your apologies short and quickly find ways to make it up to the customer, maybe by offering them a deal you normally wouldn't have and make sure they understand why you are bending over. This offers appeases and often wipes the slate clean.

2. Customers don't care about why your product didn't work the way you said it would. When they do not get the expected quality, result or experience out of your 'product' or 'service', customers conclude that you failed to deliver. Such bumps cause customers to question your integrity, capabilities … and even motives. A disappointed customer is always red flag for any business; more disappointed customers mean more red flags … and a questionable reputation for the business. It is wise to quickly fix this by either correcting the problem or replacing the product all together. A broken business reputation is always hard (if not impossible) to fix.

3. Customers do not care about why your product did not arrive on time. After the sales process during which you offer them what you have, comes the buying phase (which is great for the seller). For the customer, the most important stage is when they actually get to 'try' your service and hopefully enjoy it … what a reassurance that they made the right decision in choosing you! It is usually very disconcerting to experience delivery delays of any kind. Excitement turns into anxiety and then doubt – the customer starts to second guess their decision — some go as far as cancelling at this point. As a service provider, make sure you keep them excited by delivering on time.

4. Customers don't care about why you can't give them answers immediately. Product knowledge is your best tool. Entrepreneurs who understand their product and business model, who are general well informed and are able to offer immediate answers whenever the question has a question, needs clarification or has doubts are perceived as (1) more believable, and (2) more dependable. Customers prefer to deal with companies or individuals with good knowledge of their trade. If you don't have all the answers, get it to them as soon as possible.

5. Last, but not the least, customers don't care about why you couldn't be reached. These days, customers tend to be a bit more demanding of your time. It is not uncommon for a customer to call you as soon as something pops into their minds, just to come-up with the answers themselves while you are on the phone with them, "Oh, I actually should have thought about that before calling you!". They would have figured it out if they hadn't called you so fast! There often tends to be no boundaries or 'working hours' especially for home-business owners – customers want to be able to reach you immediately. Big corporations have solved this problem by providing 24/7 telephone customer service. However, you can open up more lines of communication by making your customers aware of several ways you can be reached: phone, email, social media, etc where they can drop a message or better still catch you online for a chat.

Customers are the life-blood of your business. Provide a great service, treat them courteously, show them you care and you will be sure to build a loyal customer base. And remember that the customer is always right!

 

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