So often we forget that our customers are our boss. I think I discovered
one significant reason why most of us fall into
this "rut." The day we
began our business we were as happy as could be. The customer was king!
We didn't have many orders so we bent over backwards
to make sure that all
our customers were happy. Some of us might have even went overboard and
"went into the hole" just because we were so overjoyed that we had received
a customer order!
But, later on, we became much more busy. We were
putting in long hours,
neglecting family and social life and realizing that being in business does
have it's gloomy side. While we tried our best to give each customer personal
attention, some customers couldn't be pleased if we hung ourself with a new
rope! Therefore, new policies had to be established. Prices had to increase
for you to invest into business growth. And somewhere in-between all this we
lost the zeal for customer satisfaction. Instead of the customer being "king"
he/she was now a "pawn."
What originally began as a eager desire to please
your customers has now
turned into a daily struggle. But who could blame you? You can remember
spending $100 and 30 hours of time trying to help a beginner get started in
mail order. However, after that beginner learned all your trade secrets they
left owing you money and never giving you the time of day again. This made
you cautious. Then how about the customer that pretended they were going to
send you a $500 order, wasted an hour or so of your time (and long distance
phone charges) just to get them quotes before they sent in their money.
Then after all the toil and added expenses, you
never heard from the
customer again. How irritating! At least, you thought, they could have sent
you a "Thank You Note" for all the trouble they put you though.
But 20 minutes later, you get another phone call
from a customer wanting to
put you through the same thing. Only this time _ the guy is serious. Do you
give this guy the same treatment you gave to the first customer? As a human
being _ you normally can't because you are ruled by emotion. It takes someone
with a lot of self-confidence in their own character to treat each customer
like a big business!
Just treat every customer you talk to the same
way you would treat someone
from a big business _ who was getting ready to send you a $10,000 order!
Unfortunately, some business owners allow owning
a business to go to their
heads. After they start becoming successful, the owner will think he/she is
"king" and makes all the rules. He/she feels that their reputation speaks
for itself and customer's are eager just to do business with them.
This normally happens because income increases and you don't "need"
certain customers who you feel have been a thorn
in your side. But although
it is perfectly fine to do this _ if you dispel a customer solely based on
the "amount" and "quantity" of orders he or she sends you _ that's a big
mistake. Those small guys and gals might just grow up and become BIGGER
businesses than you someday! Wouldn't you rather have them on your side?
Wouldn't you rather be in a position to work with them _ perhaps on a
multi-million-dollar contract together? One never knows what the future
holds so try to BE NICE _ even if you have to grin and bear it!
That's why it's even more important to stop and
think again. Are you
guilty of having a business ownership ego? If you allow it to go too far
you could lose your business entirely. Egos are a very tricky thing to deal
with. A hurt ego's downside is normally jealousy, deceit and even criminal
activity. Rage does nothing but tear you up emotionally inside and always
erupts in bad behavior and lost relationships. Never, ever, go into a rage
over the phone. If other people are screaming at you _ you will either calm
them down by remaining calm yourself or show them up for being emotionally
unstable. Rage is truly the result of an unstable personality trait. It's
really NOT normal. So get with the program and be calm (and nice.)
Everyone is in business to make money however,
making it at someone else's
expense is suicide! Perhaps some of you reading this are laughing inside
yourself. You know I speak the truth! If you are the least bit intelligent
you can easily see that making a fast buck through the expense of other
people is a way to live a very short life. If you can only see the moment
and not the future in your life _ you belong back in grade school, perhaps
kindergarten! It's true that "Humility Demonstrates Superiority".