So there I was cranking away at some work early one morning (6:00 a.m….don’t ask) when I got an email from a potential client. He needed some emergency work done and luckily I was able to get things set in motion and save him from his previous developer. The next day as I was strolling around I was mulling all this through my head…thinking about how I think business should be done and finding it unbelievable how others run business.
Good business practices are soooooo easy! Seriously people…just pull your head out of your ass and treat your clients with respect. That simple thing alone will keep your customers happy and more than likely drum up some new business for you. On the flip side, be an unscrupulous bastard and you will not only piss off your current customer (thus having no repeat business from them) but they’re probably going to tell acquaintances to steer clear of you.
So what are the rules for keeping a client happy? Rules for bringing them back and getting more business rather than pushing them away? Well…here ya go. After being an entrepreneur for countless years, working in big business, mom-and-pops, non-profits, and every other kind of business known to mankind I found these three rules to be king of them all. Customer satisfaction works wonders on building great rapport which in turn builds a solid foundation to a successful business.
- Be honest – It sounds simple but damn it’s amazing what people will lie about. They lie about what they can deliver, lie about pricing, lie about the competition. Just be honest. If you can’t do something…let them know. More often than not the customer will appreciate your honesty and you can just find a way to deal with it.
- Keep the lines of communication open – Imagine calling your client about a payment but never getting through to them. Frustrating, right? Now put yourself in their shoes. They’ve got a website that needs work, software that needs to be developed, plumbing that needs to be fixed. They call about THEIR business yet you can’t be reached. Of course they’d be upset. However, even a simple call or email now and then to let them know you’re still working for them and what the progress is will work wonders on building their trust. Even if you haven’t made any headway, a simple call can be a great way to maintain trust.
- Think of your customers as friends – Be nice to them. Talk to them. Take an interest in what they are telling you. And then think of the other rules…no lying, don’t try to gouge them and make all your money from them, don’t talk down to them…
Obviously there are many other things to take into consideration but follow these three and you’re off to a good start. These simple rules work in other aspects of life also. Try it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results you see.