I love Upper Crust Bakery on Burnet Road in Austin. Great birthday cakes, eclairs and great service. They always know what I want and make me feel special. A few weeks ago, one of their terrific staff told me I was a great customer. Wow!
That got me thinking. What can customers do to give great “business service”? This would help businesses have better sales and create more Platinum Customers™. It’s just what our economy needs: all of us to play a positive role and take responsibility.
It takes time and effort but there’s a huge payback for everyone. You can be that Platinum Customer™. Are you up to the challenge?
- Be open with me. I am not the enemy. I won’t use the information to jerk you around. I view sales as an offer to a friend. The offer is that I have something that might prove to be a good opportunity for you. Tell me what I need to know so I can make you the best offer I can. That means BUDGET and timeline, too.
- Be respectful of my time. Things happen; you have changes in your life and business. Respect me enough to let me know as far in advance as you can. Let me know that you can’t come, will be late, aren’t prepared, etc.
- Don’t expect it tomorrow. If you want it tomorrow, give me what I need to do it right long enough in advance. If you can’t, understand why it costs more or it might need “tweaking” when there is more time. But more than that, I have put you ahead of other priorities so a “thank you” would be nice.
- Tell me first if you are dissatisfied. You are my quality control. I value that highly. If you must tweet about it or tell your friends, give me the opportunity to address the problem first. This is a relationship not a war. My job is to truly listen and hear what you say; then act.
- If you just want a price, don’t call me. Go to the web. My value to you as an independent business owner comes from my total solution and my experience in helping others successfully achieve their goals. Please remember that my price has to cover: wages, taxes that support our community, my overhead costs, reasonable profit to get through hard times, and contingency funds in case something goes wrong or you don’t or can’t pay. It’s not just about what it costs me out of pocket.
- Fulfill your obligations. I expect my Platinum Customer™ to put in some effort because after all it’s their money and their business. Work with me to make my solution work for you.
- If you come to me for advice, don’t brag about how much you know about the topic or try to prove I’m wrong.
- Don’t use your cell phone if you are talking to me or use it quickly and get back to business. My time is valuable, too.
- Ask me first. If you need something that I might be able to provide, see if I can. You are under no obligation to buy but I’ve invested time with you, so give me an opportunity to serve you.
- Make referrals without my asking you to but know whom to refer to me. I chose you as my client but I don’t choose everyone. What I have to offer is not right for everyone. I appreciate the referral but please don’t give your sister who is hard to work with.
What do you do to help provide great “business service”?
If you are a business owner and want to know how to identify Platinum Customers™, read my suggestions about how to create a Platinum Customer Profile ™and see my slide presentation that I have given for several organizations.