ArticlesCheryl L Kane, MBA
Customer Comments

Through the Eyes of a Customer, No. 2

Remember to look at your business through the eyes of your customers. It is easy to do, and just as easy to forget to do when the demands of day to day operations weigh you down.

Occasionally enter your business the same way your customer does. They don't enter through the "back door" you may use every day. This "front entrance" may include an actual door, a telephone line, delivery trucks, your signs or invoices. It is whatever creates the impression of how much your business cares about the customer. Though you or your staff may have become complacent with a fingerprinted door, a rusty truck exterior, a static filled telephone line or paint peeling from a sign, your customer will not be impressed. Every part of your operation must be inviting and easily accessible to your customers. They are your guests, so clean up your "front door," because company is coming.

*Sparkling clean surroundings send a signal that quality is important to you
*Signs freshly painted, well-lit, with correctly spelled words say "we want you to notice us"
*Clean, maintained vehicles, tools and uniforms indicate you consider yourself professional

Customers must feel welcome as soon as they "enter" your business. Eye contact, a smile and a warm greeting are the same attributes of the welcome we give to guests arriving at our home. Extend the same to your customers. Some businesses have a policy that a customer is to be warmly greeted within 30 seconds of entering the shop. Others have standardized their greetings "Thank you for shopping here, how may I help you?" Telephone calls can be given a personalized touch if the greeter includes their name "John's Wrecker Service, this is Toby, how may I help you?" In person or on the telephone, as soon as a customer feels recognized, attended to and is given an opportunity to express their needs, you and your staff can get right to work meeting that need.

Your customer is a treasured guest in your business, with specific expectations and needs. Make sure you know what they are experiencing as they try to do business with you. If it is easy and leaves a positive impression, you will have created a lasting, positive impression. And they will be back.

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