Guest Post by Deb Brown, Webster City, Iowa, Area Chamber of Commerce
My friend Kevin told me a story. Kevin has just bought the business he’s worked in for over 15 years, located on Main Street in my small town, Webster City, Iowa. He’s renamed it Interior Spaces because he’s a decorator and he makes your interior spaces beautiful.
He had a couple come in a couple of weeks ago who looked at a couch and a chair. Kevin didn’t have what they wanted in stock, but did show him the pieces he thought would meet their needs in a catalog. He also told them who had the pieces in stock. They left.
Two weeks later they came back. They had been to a much larger store and looked at the actual couch and chair, but they came back to Kevin and ordered the pieces. He asked the husband why they didn’t buy it at the big store.
His response was “He wasn’t very nice.” Apparently the salesperson wasn’t attentive, didn’t care about helping the customer and just wasn’t very nice. Kevin, however, is. Consistently.
Customer service isn’t rocket science and it is teachable. Do you work with your staff on customer service? Are you customer friendly? We are all in some kind of business where we have to ‘sell’. Whether it’s a product or just ourselves.
A local business makeover
The Grandview Chamber of Commerce has helped a small business survive. Take the eleven minutes to watch this video – and you’ll notice that one of the things that was hurting the business was their customer service!
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Rhonda Howell says
This is absolutely the truth. Customer service is like air in your tires. It’s that invisible thing that makes all the difference in the ride. Customers come for the product but come back for the service.
I really learned this when we added art work to our line of functional iron work. Selling something that has no function to justify its expense was completely different from hardware sales. I have to introduce Walter and his work to the interested market. Art requires conversation that teaches about process and vision. You have to make them fall in love with an item and give them an understanding of why it’s worth the purchase price. All of this takes good old fashion sincere southern hospitality skills.
I am amazed that folks are surprised when they get good service. It should come without saying and be appreciated by customer loyalty. It took a while to lose it but with persistence we can bring it back.
Thank you for the article. It was a good reminder.
Rhonda Howell, Walters Forge
Becky McCray says
Thanks, Rhonda. I really like the “air in the tires” comment!