One of the worst things any business can do is annoy those wonderful people who buy from them regularly. It will likely
lose them that client and worse, it will lead to the client telling the world (well at least 20 people) how bad your business is.
Some of the common ways that businesses annoy their clients are:
- Failing to meet delivery dates
- Invoicing for a different amount then agreed, usually much more with additional charges
- Providing defective product or inadequate service
- Ignoring messages, contact and requests for answers
This results in a loss of trust. And trust once lost is difficult to regain especially if the client finds themselves out of pocket.
Guarantees and warranties can help a client have confidence to deal with you in the first place but if you renege on those in any way shape or form, the client will know that you were only offering a false assurance and may report you to either the police for fraud or an appropriate government department.
And then there is what can happen through social media. There are thousands of stories of angry clients posting on Twitter or Facebook a negative experience and what happens is that complaint goes to their friends who send it on to their friends and their friends.
When a client calls for an explanation or to ask questions, the worst thing you can do as a business is avoid them Most clients are asking questions because they just want clarity but if you fail to answer their inquiry, the client assumes that you are trying to deceive them. While this may be your intention, I believe that most business people are honest and the reason they fail to answer client questions is because they do not know the answer or worse the answer will cost them money, time or effort.
Recent court cases where CEOs have been charged with fraud, malfeasance and other terrible crimes against shareholders and clients, state that they were unaware of what their staff were doing. This argument fortunately does not get them out of trouble and it does not remedy the problems of their clients or shareholders either. Even if they go to jail for a few years, their family lives in comfort and their shareholders and clients are forced into bankruptcy and foreclosure.
And it all starts with how you, the business owner, treat your customers, clients, prospects, staff and shareholders.
If you treat people with respect and keep your word, answer their concerns and deal with them above board then all will be well with your business. Treat them to deceive and protect yourself and you are writing your own ticket to disaster.
Starting today, run your business to satisfy your clients, deal with them always as you want to be dealt with and provide the service you promised plus a little extra.
Please comment on any time that you were annoyed by a business and what happened to the relationship. (Keep names, and dates out of the post though).
Passionate, Purposeful Performer