Reading the honesty thread on UK Business Forums reminded me of my own experience. I recently moved house. For the first time in many years, I chose to shift the furniture myself. More accurately, I hired a van and got my son and his mate to help. The move went smoothly with one exception - when we slammed the van door shut, part of the wing mirror fell off.
Darren Langley of Sellerdeck looks at how to get the best out of relationships with customers who require support. Three of the key areas he addresses are:
In an ideal world, businesses would not need to offer support. Nothing would go wrong, orders would always arrive on time, products would never break, and our customers would never struggle to use our products or services. But of course, it isn't an ideal world, so we need to be there to look after our customers when they need help. Here are a few lessons I've picked up from when I was managing Sellerdeck's helpdesk.
While a good working assumption is that "the customer is always right", life is a bit more complex than that. With some customers, if you go the second mile they will be loyal forever. I've done this myself with my local car dealer. I had a problem with my car, and it just couldn't be tracked down. Eventually on the third visit to the garage, they sorted it out. They then refused to charge me on the grounds that they should have discovered what was wrong sooner. Since then, that garage has got all of my business, including buying another car. I implicitly trust everything they say to me. I've never before had that relationship with anyone in the motor trade.
The customer may always be right, but are they the right customers? One of the customer's of my company (Sellerdeck) was incredibly picky about how their business wanted to use our software. We are a mass market, low price supplier and we've sold tens of thousands of products and services, so we normally can't make changes for individual companies who typically pay a few hundred pounds each. However, this particular customer was very persistent.
What we expect governs how we react. A child may be disappointed with their present if it's not the one they expected. Another child, with lower expectations, might be delighted with the same toy.