Wednesday, January 16, 2013
When Words Hurt. The Challenges of Customer Service.
We live in a world where the majority of our goods are manufactured and sold by huge corporations. Corporations that are run by hundreds or thousands of people. These businesses typically don't have a face, feelings, or have any one person who takes true responsibility (or even cares) when their customers aren't satisfied. They know that there are another ten customers to replace that one disgruntled one.
Our society has become accustomed to low levels of customer service. Our first response is to get angry when something goes wrong because we "know" what will be involved with getting things right...(you can read my post on large companies that do get it right HERE).
Today I want to ask you to please think BEFORE you put pen to paper, (or keyboard to screen) especially when dealing with small business owners. I promise you, we are a different entity and we approach our businesses in a completely different manner than those mass retailers. Most of us actually care a whole deal about our business and the satisfaction of our customers. And when we do disappoint our customers, it impacts us personally and deeply and will typically bend over backwards to make things right.
The truth is there are times when we aren't spot on. Most of us run these businesses by ourselves. We are responsible from everything to the purchasing of supplies, the manufacturing of goods, the accounting, the marketing, the administrative duties and everything else. Many of us are also parents to small children. And all of us are human. We deal with life challenges, illness, stress, and everyday duties just like our customers. Sometimes things slip through the cracks. It happens.
What I can tell you is that when that does happen, those of us who have pride in our "little shops" work hard to make it right. We typically don't have the 10 customers to replace that one unhappy one. We thrive on repeat business and word of mouth.
Customer satisfaction IS our business.
So what am I saying? I'm just asking that if something doesn't go quite the way you expect when dealing with a Mom & Pop shop, please inquire kindly before you go on the attack. Give us a chance! We probably won't disappoint you.
And please, please remember that words do hurt, especially when we pour our heart and soul into our little shops.