Are You Too Busy for Customers?

Filed in Blog, Customer Service by on May 7, 2012
Are You Too Busy for Customers?

Today I would like to share with you a guest blog post from Joe Rawlinson

Here in Texas we have to get our cars inspected every year to make sure they are still safe to drive. One year I needed to get my wife’s car inspected so I returned to an auto shop that had done the inspection the previous year.

My Experience

I walked in and said that I needed a state inspection. My conversation went as follows:

Guy behind counter: “It’ll be 45 minutes to an hour.”

Me: “So you’re saying I’ll be out of here in an hour?”

Guy: “There are no guarantees. My inspector is out and I’m the only one that can do the inspection.”

Me: “When does your inspector get back?”

Guy: “Next week.”

Me: “When is a better time to come by then?”

Guy: “Around 7:30am. Before the phone starts ringing and things get busy.”

The employee/manager never made eye contact with me during this conversation. I jumped into my car and left.

I know you’re busy, but…

If you are busy, don’t blow off your customers. Why did I have to ask 20 questions? Even after the questions, I was left with the impression that the guy behind the counter just wanted to get rid of me.

All businesses get busy times. However, just because you are swamped doesn’t mean your customers will quit calling. To ensure that you still appease your customers you need to remember these steps when you are super busy:

  •  Explain why you are busy.
  •  Express sympathy for the customer and still show you care even though you can’t service them right now.
  •  Give the customer some options. Offer different times the customer could return or call you.
  •  If you know you can’t help them, don’t send them away empty handed. Refer them to another company you respect.

By taking care of your customers’ perceptions and needs even when you are busy, you’ll be sure to make the good impressions that will keep you busy for years to come.

Your Competition is Waiting

After my distasteful experience trying to get my car inspected, I got back in my car and drove a half a block down the street to another auto service station.

Upon entering the office, I was promptly served and was done in a mere 15 minutes. The staff was cordial and friendly. This was in complete contrast to the shop up the street I had just left.

Remember that your competition is everywhere. They are conveniently located just down the street. They can be reached by a simple phone call. Their website is just a click away.

You must treat your customers with the respect they deserve or they’ll jump in their car, leave, and give their money to your competition.

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To learn more about Joe Rawlinson, please visit his website http://www.returncustomer.com/ or connect with him on Twitter @joerawlinson.

 

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About the Author ()

Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies amassing the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business, was released in February, 2016.

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