Our recent purchase for basement carpet was a good reminder about how and how not to treat your customer. We were referred to a specific sales person at a local carpet company. When we got to the showroom, he was busy with another customer and the manager (we’ll call him Frank) told us it would be at least an hour before the other person was free but that he would be more than happy to help us.
We proceeded to tell Frank of our situation and our carpet needs. Frank proceeded to tell us story after story that had nothing to do with our carpet. Frank thought he was funny. Frank talked way too much about things other than our carpet. I kept trying to bring Frank back around to the subject at hand. The visit was exhausting! Here’s the thing, we have used this company multiple times in the past and have always been very happy with both the product and their installation. We were easy! We were a sure sale! We were going to buy from this man if he would just stop talking over us and sell us a piece of carpet! Frank, I am your customer…stop talking and listen to me.
We chose our carpet and Frank set up a time to come to our home for drawings and measurements. He told me that he would be out on a certain day between 1:00-1:30. The day came and the 1 o’clock hour went. Frank, I am your customer…call if you have been delayed.
I called Frank’s cell and left him a message that it was my understating that he was to be out between 1:00-1:30 and that it was now 2:00. Frank promptly called back and when I answered he said, “It’s your friend, Frank, I can be there in about 20 minutes.” So instead of between 1:00-1:30 now Frank was going to be here closer to 2:45. Frank, I am your customer…my time is important.
When I opened the door to let him in, Frank loudly proclaimed, “It’s your friend, Frank!” I swear, I think I rolled my eyes at him. Frank, I am your customer…not your friend.
During the course of his measurements, Frank told stories and jokes and laughed at them all. Worried that he was not focused on the job at hand, I excused myself to go upstairs.
We ended up purchasing our carpet from Frank and his company because of our history with them but most of all because we have been very pleased with one of their employees who has laid our carpet in the past. Bless his heart, Frank did end up giving us a good deal for our carpet. But I am afraid that if this were the first experience that we had had with this company, I would have gone elsewhere due to my lack of confidence with Frank.
When I am your customer, I want you to treat me friendly but professional. I want you to listen to me more than talk to me. I want to be confident in the service that you offer. I want to be your customer…not your friend.
About the Author: Sheri Miller is the Owner of Another You, LLC, a Virtual Assistant service in the Dayton, Ohio area. Sheri helps small business owners save time, money and frustration by taking care of their day-to-day administrative tasks and customer service. Think of her as your right hand while your left hand is growing your business. http://www.anotheryouerrands.com 937-416-2207