Do you ever try out a restaurant just to “see” how good the service is, and to “taste” how good the food is? Why is it that, from small towns to large cities, so many times the customer service is so poor, and money is left on the table?
I’m amazed, especially after moving from a city to a smaller town. In a small town, there are less people to turn away if you are looking to grow business. I’d say that in the last two years after moving here, I’ve received mediocre to poor “first time” service in 80% of the restaurants and retailers that I’ve patronized at least once. Sometimes, it’s happened multiple times.
I found a fabulous hairdresser and a wonderful salon. Getting all foofed and finished costs money. After a number of years in business, unfortunately for me, the salon owners recently sold their business. It’s been two months, and the new owners have never contacted me. Although the former owners assure me they are “great” – I would have thought they’d be anxious to meet a regular, onging past client of the salon. No call. Finally, I asked around, and found a new salon.
Think of the cost of a good customer over time – hundreds to thousands to tens of thousands of dollars over the years. Can you afford to be average with a loyal customer?
Next time someone comes in and says they are new or a first timer, take some time to ask them questions – like, “how did you find us?” – or “did anyone suggest you come here?” – those are valuable questions to get answers to. Next, find out more about the customer – their likes and dislikes. Capture their email address – and work to build some rapport.
This is not just a money issue – it is a reputation and brand-building issue. You can’t afford to goof this up in a small town – or even virtually on the web – just too small of a world, as they say.