It baffles me how business owners/entrepreneurs think they can get away with being rude to their clients/customers. I’m not an advocate for “the customer is always right” movement. But I view customers same way I see patients in a hospital. As a.medic, you’re not allowed to be rude to your patient or treat them shabbily no matter how much they annoy you. They are patients meaning you got to exercise patience when dealing with them but this post ain’t about patients even though you can apply this to how you handle them in a hospital setting.
This post is about business owners( whether big time or small time business owners) and their customers. I have had two experiences in recent times, that triggered this. First one was some weeks back with a supposed “big shot” fashion designer who I gave a material to and subsequently a specific design to sew for me. Just because I changed the style I wanted few days after she had claimed to cut the material she started acting very rude, misplaced the other material I gave her to augment the former since she claimed the previous material won’t be enough and subsequently used a month to sew the dress. I tried not to get pissed, ignored all this and went ahead to give her another sewing contract and she declined saying she can’t sew for me again because of my attitude. She also stated that I’m not the only one she sews for, that she sews for married women too,lol (since I’m not married I have no right to complain)… Wow! Like since youre a big shot designer I dont have a right to complain and yet I’m to still pay you. Na wa
The second experience was this morning, I saw this lovely mangoes (I’m a mango freak) and went ahead to bargain, the elderly woman selling them didn’t want none of it. Right from when I picked up a mango to bargain she got pissed that I was bargaining, like I didn’t have the right to bargain. I really dunno why some traders get annoyed when you bargain, especially when they didnt put a price tag on the product. If her attitude and words weren’t rude and insulting, I probably would have bought at her price but with her attitude I just took off.
Whether you’re a small time business owner or a hot shot business owner with branches all over the world, whether your products or talents are one of a kind or rare, your clients/customers MAKE OR MAR your business. You may think losing one client wont make a difference, but that client can bring down your businessby word of mouth, telling all who care to listen how you lack customer care and relations etc
I’m an impatient person naturally but I had to learn the hard way in both my career and business to be tolerant. And here’s what I’ve learnt
~You should treat all your clients with respect and your attitude shouldn’t be rude or demeaning.
~Even if your clients are rude or their attitudes demeaning especially when they bargain at a price that’s not worth the value of what you’re selling, you shouldn’t be rude or sarcastic or make comments like “there are other clients who can pay at this rate even if you can’t”. You should politely let them know why you can’t sell or offer your services at the rate their asking and politely ask they seek other sellers who can
~If your clients become insulting, you should handle them with diplomacy and not stoop to insulting them too
~You should be patient with clients who are very selective and very slow in making up their minds in deciding what products they what. Its not the time to shoo them away but a time to professionally help them make up their minds about a particular product or service.
~Dont forget a client’s order or be late in delivering it no matter how small, if you do, when they’ve got a bigger order or contract they won’t trust you with it, they will give it out to someone else.
~Try not to cheat your clients because you think they are gullible, give them products worth what they are paying. When they find out you cheated them, they may not tell you but that will mark the end of their patronage
~Have a form of reward system to encourage persistent and consistent clients especially those who refer other clients to you, this will encourage them to be loyal to you
I’m not a business specialist but this is just my experience and hard lessons learnt that I think would help