When it comes to business, many people have heard the old adage that says you should always put the customer first. In theory, this is true, as customers are the main source of the financial success of any business. But what does this mean exactly?
How to Put the Customer First
Putting the customer first is really not that complicated. It is just a matter of making each customer feel as important and valued as they are. If a customer needs help, there should be no hesitation on the part of the employee to offer to help. If a customer has a question, every effort should be made to answer it to the satisfaction of the customer. If a customer has a complaint about a product or a service, every effort should be made to rectify the problem. Customer satisfaction should be paramount in any reasonable situation.
Are There Exceptions to the Rule?
Notice the word “reasonable” in the last sentence of the previous paragraph. Like in any situation involving people, there are all types. Not every person handles everything in a reasonable manner. As important as customer retention is in a business, there are some types that the business would do much better without. Here are a couple of examples:
- Profane customers
- Long-winded talkers
The first example is the type of person who likes to exhibit negative attention. They will loud talk and speak profanely to you even when you are being reasonable with them. The best thing to do with this type of customer is to kindly show him or her the door. If that does not work, it may be necessary to call on the help of a police officer to escort them from the building.
A long-winded talker should be treated kindly, but you may find it necessary to interrupt at some point of their conversation if they are holding up other customers. This is the type that will talk to you about all of their personal problems as you are conducting business with them. They may tell you how their husband or wife treats them, or all about the children and grandchildren as the line behind them grows longer and longer. Explain to them in a kind manner that you have to get to your next customers who have been patiently awaiting your service.
Your Customers Help Make Your Business a Success
The main point of putting the customer first is to realize the value of your customers in your business. Keep in mind that in order for your business to be a success, you must have satisfied customers.
Your customer is someone who comes to you for a service or item that they feel you are able to provide. They expect you to be knowledgeable about your product or service as they are willing to spend their hard-earned money on this service or item. As the business owner or employee, it is your job to ensure that the customer is getting what they came to you for. The customer is of value to the business just as the business is a value to the customer.
Since customers are such an important aspect of business, you will want to keep them coming. Satisfied customers often become repeat customers, which is valuable to your business. A good reputation brings more customers who then become repeat customers or clients. Also, your satisfied customers will be likely to refer your business to family, friends, and neighbors. Employees should be trained to follow your lead and to follow the golden rules of customer service.
The Golden Rules of Customer Service
Always treat customers with courtesy. A smile and a kind word goes a long way. Always thank them at the close of a sale and extend the invitation for them to visit again in the future.