Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Protect your Future

I had an experience this weekend that caused me to think about business practices as a whole, and more particularly, my own business practices and how they work to build my business's future.

We shopped for a car this weekend and, after deciding the car we wanted, sat down to the grueling task of negotiation. After several back and forths, and my husband being adamant about the price he was willing to pay, the manager came to discuss costs of the car vs. what we wanted to pay.

Trying to explain costs (the little extras that the added that my husband did NOT want to pay for) we came down to a difference of $175. This particularly was a sticking point with the manager. He was willing to let us walk away for $175.

What the manager didn’t know, however, is that we were buying this car for a teenager that is going away to school in a little over a year. At that time, we will be shopping for a car again. For the next one that will be going away to college, and then, there is another one after that.

I wonder if I had informed him of this, if he would have realized how petty the $175 seemed. I wonder, also, if any thought was given to referrals. Would we recommend the dealer ship?

These particular points got me thinking. I wonder if I, as business owners think immediate funds and overlook the future potential. Do I, when thinking of our packaging, think that I will go cheaply vs. professionally? Do I, when dealing with a customer that has lots of questions, respond in a professional way or in a way that is condescending? Do I, when faced with a missing package refuse refunds, or replacement?

I have and continue to try to make the buying and receiving experience of all my customers the best they can possibly get. I don’t know what my customer’s life situation is. I don’t know how much they can or will buy. Also, while my customers may only buy one thing from me, I want, when they are asked, to highly recommend me. I want them to feel valued and to cherish their item. I belive my treatment of them adds to this.

This experince at the car dealership served as a good reminder for me that while quality items are important, customer service is equally important. Without it my business has no real future.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree. I try very hard to work on my packaging as well as customer service mainly to reply convos / emails promptly and answers all questions as well as follow up on sales. I think it work well in the long run and help me to retain and build up regular customers.

    God Bless