The Occasional Rant is Good For Your Soul
What's the #1 rule of marketing?
Repeat after me: It's easier (and cheaper) to retain current customers than go after new ones. Or whatever version of that you're familiar with.
This is not some great revelation, it's marketing 101 stuff. And it's why customer service is PARAMOUNT.
As a business owner who actually CARES about her clients maybe this makes me a little more sensitive than most when it comes to really piss poor treatment by fellow small business owners (but I doubt it).
Look, I get that you need to take care of your own interests in business and make a profit and have boundaries and all that good stuff. But none of that should stand in the way of providing great customer service!
I am, after all, TRYING to give you my money! And the purchase I'm talking about is no small chunk of cheddar. YOU should be doing everything to make this a great experience for me, so I'll come back. And recommend you to my friends...maybe even blog about you. See how this works?
Now I get that sometimes shit happens. And it's totally beyond your control. Been there and it sucks. So here's what you do:
You contact me and say something like...
Hey valued customer, this is what we agreed upon. It's no longer going to be possible. Here's why (make sure you don't just blame someone else that looks bad). I will get the deliverable to you on this date. So sorry for the inconvenience.
If you can, sweeten the deal somehow, so I feel better about it and don't go somewhere else. I consider myself to be pretty reasonable and if I can I'll give you the benefit of the doubt (once).
Do NOT do NOTHING and force me to play the role of annoying, nagging customer who has to constantly phone you to remind you of the deadlines YOU set that have now expired.
Don't even get me started on the ever-changing parameters of what you're promising. Because then I'll have to write an angry blog post about the importance of really basic customer service...oh, wait.
And you better believe I'm looking elsewhere. Because I'd rather give my large chunk of cheddar to someone who treats me like a human being rather than an after-thought.