Yesterday morning, I dashed out in the middle of a down poor of rain, on a quest to have my hair trimmed. Simple enough task, right?
I arrived at the local big-box-shopping-plaza in search of a haircut before picking up me youngest son from kindergarten. Dashing across the parking lot, I got absolutely drench, one time I didn’t care what my hair looked like.
I opened the door of the shop and was immediately told by the clerk that they didn’t open until 10AM…it was 9:53AM. Standing in the rain, getting wetter by the second, I ask if I may just sit for a few minutes and wait. A simple, easy request that got an answer I would never have expected. The clerk actually told me NO.
People never cease to amaze me! Biting my tongue to avoid saying something “un-lady-like”, I let the door close and took my business somewhere else – their loss, I still got my haircut, I just didn’t give them my money.
Being a small business owner, I could never get away with such poor consideration for the client. Everything I do is about what is best for the client.
Service with a smile
In Canada we recently celebrated Thanksgiving with the holiday itself being on the Monday.
A new client, with a house that needed alot of attention, worked 6 days a week and averaged between 60 to 70 hours, only had that holiday Monday to work with us to begin the “de-cluttering” phase.
Sure, I could have refused to work that day or charged a premium because it was a holiday, but I didn’t. If you have to ask “why”, then shame on you!
In small business the customer always comes first. If you are actually able to demonstrate that by your actions rather than just spout it off like a tired cliché, then you understand the value of your customers.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that you should let customers walk over you or that you should do things that don’t follow your business ethics.
As a small business owner we also have to pay close attention to what customers might say about us. Word-of-mouth advertising can be a power tool but I can guarantee you that a “bad” reputation will spread quicker than a “good” reputation.
Have a customer service story – be sure to share it! Do you know a business that offers outstanding service, they deserve a pat on the back so let us know who they are.