Im Your Ad Guy

Phillip Deems

I would like a side order of “Customer Service” please!

Okay, apparently you do get what you pay for.  I was under the assumption that Customer Service was free…but apparently not.  In today’s economy, where your average person is saving every dime just to get by, you would think that local companies would be chomping at the bit to make you happy.  The intention…repeat customers who will spend money again.  Wow, sounds simple right!  Not so much…

I have personally tried to use local companies with local ties to the community in several instances this past year.  Take note of the word “Local”!  My hope was to save a little money for my wife and I all while giving a local company the chance to survive in tough times.  Lawn services, fence companies and a wood floor company that I am still battling with to get what I paid for.   The one thing that was missing with each one of the business categories listed above, CUSTOMER SERVICE. 

In each instance I paid less for parts and labor.  In each instance the parts and labor was all I got.  Not one time did I feel like the company tried at all to build a relationship.  The employees were non caring and in several instances we had to call them multiple times to even get them to come out to our house.  Now if your business was trying to survive, wouldn’t you take every phone call very serious and maybe let’s see…call them back! 

I have some suggestions for anyone reading this that owns a local business.

 

  1. It begins and ends with your customer.  Without them you do not survive or thrive.  Treat each one of your customers as if they were a critic…someone who can make or break your business with one article in the local newspaper or on the local television station.  You never know what type of connections they have that can spread the word about  your company.
  2. Listen and Respond.  Make sure from the first phone call that you ask the right questions and then listen closely to the answers.  Respond swiftly.  Your job is not done after the last brick is laid…it has just begun.  Follow up with a phone call or a hand written card sent through the mail to “Thank” them for their business.  Include a coupon to use on your goods and services in the future.  Let them know you care.
  3. Don’t make anyone pay for Customer Service!  This is why Lowe’s and Home Depot are taking your business.  They are giving good customer service from the moment you walk in their doors.  One of the Lowe’s employees around the corner even remembers our name when we come in.  It is the little things that we as consumers will remember.  The good thing for you as a local business is that Home Depot and Lowe’s are more expensive than you are, so I am ultimately paying for customer service at their stores.  Here is where you can get a leg up on the “Big Box” stores…FREE CUSTOMER SERVICE.  FYI, I will give that marketing plan away to the first small business that responds to this blog. 

 

Let’s conclude, shall we.  You have a chance as a local business to get me back.  Keep winning the war on prices, but don’t forget to include a “Side of Customer Service”…for free!  Until then, I will just keep telling myself that I have to pay for that.  “You get what you pay for.”  Prove me wrong.

3 comments on “I would like a side order of “Customer Service” please!

  1. steven
    May 6, 2010

    Well said! At times I think the whole business culture has changed to “the customer is always wrong.”
    In the end, poor customer service does not build your business. It erodes it. Consumer have too many choices; they don’t have to settle for mediocre results. In fact (a warning to all you dirt-cheap quoters) I’d rather pay 100 bucks more to do business with a highly reputable company that stands by its products and services.

    • PhillipDeems
      May 10, 2010

      Agreed Steven…thanks for the follow up. I now know not to go with the cheapest!

  2. Pingback: How’s My Customer Service, Honey? | Phillip Deems

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This entry was posted on April 24, 2010 by in Uncategorized.
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