Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sweat the Small Stuff

I needed to purchase a volunteer recognition piece and chose to support a local small business.  My budget was small, but the company agreed to help.  After weeks of being unable to get a response by email, I scheduled an appointment to come by and talk in person. After confirming my appointment, I arrived but was told to come back later.  They were going to lunch.  Before leaving, they added that my project wasn’t worth their time, and that apparently, they were in the business of charity too.

A few days later, I called a local print shop to get a quote about another project.  I was told my project wasn’t worth their time. 

Recently, I drove to three hardware stores when I couldn’t find what I needed online.  At each store, my questions were referred to another department.  Eventually, I was sent back to the internet.

Scenarios like this are far too prevalent. 

Great customer service is imperative and the little actions and efforts we make reinforce our reputation and brand.  Our behavior dictates whether or not clients will return.  It impacts what they’ll tell others about us.

Our businesses cannot be all things to all people.  When mutually beneficial relationships do not exist, clients should still be treated respectfully and professionally.  Even if we are unable to help, we can often make recommendations or referrals to lend a hand.  Handling situations like these well could even end up increasing brand loyalty or leading to a new opportunity.

It’s worth sweating the small stuff.

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