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Author Topic: CUSTOMERS ARE:  (Read 2214 times)

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Offline CHARLIE

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CUSTOMERS ARE:
« on: March 09, 2004, 06:02:50 PM »

The most important people in any business:

Not dependent on us. We are dependent on them.

Not an interruption of our work.  They are the purpose of it.

Doing us a favor when they come in.  We are not doing them a favor by serving them.

A part of our business, not outsiders.

Not just a statistic.  They are flesh and blood human beings with feelings and emotions like ourselves.

People who come to us with their needs and wants.  It is our job to fill them.

Deserving of the most courteous and attentive treatment we can give them.

The life blood of this and every other business.  Without them we would have to close our doors.

Don't forget it.
Charlie
"Everybody was gone when I arrived but I decided to stick around until I could figure out why I was there !"

Offline Stump Jumper

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2004, 06:15:25 PM »
You got the right idea.

But sometimes I wonder because of the attitude that very few customers have.  Because they want something for a little of nothing.

But all in all most customers are all right.
Jeff
May God Bless.
WM LT 40 SuperHDD42 HP Kubota walk & ride, WM Edger, JD Skidsteer 250, Farmi winch, Bri-Mar Dump Box Trailer, Black Powder

Offline CHARLIE

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2004, 06:27:07 PM »
Most people want services and products as cheap as they can get them.  I don't think a business has to give their services and products away, but must be fair, honest and treat the customer with respect. The customer always has the option to go elsewhere.
Charlie
"Everybody was gone when I arrived but I decided to stick around until I could figure out why I was there !"

Offline Flurida_BlackCreek

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2004, 07:41:00 PM »
Sounds good and I'm not trying to be negative, but reality, 40K of useless paper in the last eight years and a lifetime of self employement tells me otherwise. Clients will lie, cheat and steal from a small business if you give them the chance.
Try to be nice to them and they WILL screw you. Newbee has a lot to learn. Remember FAS doesn't always mean First and Seconds.
I'm happy anywhere south of the mason-dixon line.
-- cdb

Offline CHARLIE

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2004, 08:28:16 PM »
I'm not a newbee to the business world. A business without customers cannot be a business. Treat a customer badly and he won't be your customer for very long, plus he'll pass the word. I'm sure there are some customers that are bad customers, but, I believe, you just have to grit your teeth sometimes. I still believe you must treat a customer with respect and treat him the way you would like to be treated by a business. Once a business loses a customer, it takes seven times more money to win him back than it would have taken to keep him happy.....that is if you can win him back.
Now, if a customer gets abusive, then you have an obligation to politely tell him to do business somewhere else.
 
Charlie
"Everybody was gone when I arrived but I decided to stick around until I could figure out why I was there !"

Offline Flurida_BlackCreek

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2004, 09:09:11 PM »
Charlie,

The Newbee comment wasn't actually directed to you. After posting I see where you would take it that way and I apologize. It was directed at a spinless coward on here that is watching everthing I post and doesn't have the integrity to address me like an adult.

As far as a bad client passing the word, good I don't want any customers that would associate with an idiot anyway.
Respect goes both ways and sometimes they believe that because they are paying you, that they have some special right to treat you like dirt.

Again, I apologize.
I'm happy anywhere south of the mason-dixon line.
-- cdb

Offline CHARLIE

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2004, 09:14:17 PM »
No apology necessary. I was sorta pleased. I thought you thought I was a young whippersnapper. I can't hardly remember that far back.
Charlie
"Everybody was gone when I arrived but I decided to stick around until I could figure out why I was there !"

Offline Percy

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2004, 11:19:46 PM »
I agree that customers should be treated with respect, even if they arnt the most desirable sort.

A few years back I had a customer who bought a big pile of WRC fence pickets I give him about an extra  50 no charge, he bought a 1000. I told him if that extra 50 didnt cover   all the bad/defective ones that may or may not be in the lift, I would replace them free of charge. Well he comes back a few days later with about 40 really bad pickets that clearly had circle saw marks on every board and he figured I was gonna give him another 40 boards for free when clearly, they werent my boards(band saw). I had to show him via a cutting demonstration that there was no way a Woodmizer bandmill could make those marks. He was still miffed and mumbled somthing totally stupid as he left. He comes around every once in a while to try to buy boards from me, I just tell him, "Everything is sold...sorry".

On the other side of the coin, I could fill about twenty pages talkin about the great customers/interesting/ entertaining people that Ive met doing this sawing thing. The good outweighs/overwhelms the bad. 8)
GOLDEN RULE : The guy with the gold, makes the rules.

Offline CHARLIE

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2004, 06:57:07 AM »
Great story Percy!  I like the way you handled that. You treated the customer with respect even though he was not being fair to you.  And you decided you didn't need his type of business anymore, but was still pleasant to him. He can't say anything poorly about you and maybe he learned something.  
Charlie
"Everybody was gone when I arrived but I decided to stick around until I could figure out why I was there !"

Offline Frickman

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2004, 08:18:53 AM »
I'm sitting here this morning waiting for a hay customer to show up. I'd sooner be in the woods cutting but I said I'd wait for her. For the second straight day she said she'd be here after milking over at the neighbor's place and guess what, no show. She's a nice lady but has a habit of not keeping her word. Customers like this I politely tell that if they can find me I'll take care of them but I won't waste my time waiting for them.

About four or five years ago I tired of these kind of things and figured that respect is a two way street, if they don't have any respect for me I'm not too worried about them. If they come during mealtime they're going to have to wait. If they haven't made an appointment and I'm in the woods they're going to have to wait. If I'm dealing with another customer who made their appointment on time they're going to have to wait. You know what happened? I lost some a few customers, mostly those who weren't very profitable and pains in the neck. The remaining customers have become more loyal and referred their friends, so I have actually gained more business. If I conduct myself and my business in a professional manner I'm treated better than if I allow folks to push me around. I still bend over backwards to accomodate the customer. I just tell folks that nothing we do is such a big emergency that I can't eat my dinner. We're just selling lumber and hay, not doing open heart surgery, so it can wait for half an hour.
If you're not broke down once in a while, you're not working hard enough

I'm not a hillbilly. I'm an "Appalachian American"

Retired  Conventional hand-felling logging operation with cable skidder and forwarder, Frick 01 handset sawmill

Pretend farmer when I have the time

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2004, 11:04:57 AM »
I love going to places that have telephones at their sales counters - parts stores are great for this.  Here I am a paying customer with cash in hand.  The phone rings, and that takes precedent.  Usually its someone searching for information.

If the phone is so DanG important, hire someone to answer it.  My time is worth something and if a business can't respect it, I won't be back.  If you're doing business, then the phones should be shut off and treat me like I'm important.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Frickman

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2004, 11:58:58 AM »
Our local NAPA store is good for that Ron. I'll be standing at the counter with what I need, just got to give them the money. Phone rings and they ignore me. I've walked out a few times, and cut down on the business I do there, but I still have to deal with them. They're the only place in town to get parts for some of my equipment.

Years ago I had a part-time job working in the office for a local ski resort. Part of the job was answering incoming phone calls. On busy weekends the phone would ring off the hook, but most of the calls were for information for a following weekend. By Saturday afternoon we quit answering the phone altogether. We figured anybody coming to ski that weekend was already there, and we'd better take care of them or else they'd not come back. If something important came up at the resort itself another employee could call us on the radio. It might not sound right, but it's what we had to do. I'm sure the folks who were there skiing appreciated our attention.
If you're not broke down once in a while, you're not working hard enough

I'm not a hillbilly. I'm an "Appalachian American"

Retired  Conventional hand-felling logging operation with cable skidder and forwarder, Frick 01 handset sawmill

Pretend farmer when I have the time

Offline Stephen_Wiley

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2004, 12:18:58 PM »
Ron,  I am definately in agreement.  Why is the phone client more important than my time. NAPA has an add on of up to 300 percent mark up. Usually upon reciept of goods still have to wait in line to purchase.  For these reasons they recieve little patronization on my part.

Business wise though,  I do have a motto that I follow as it has helped to maintain a healthier business:

"IF BEING BUSINESSLIKE EVER COSTS YOU A CLIENT OR A SALE, IT IS ALMOST  CERTAIN THAT THE CLIENT OR SALE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN WORTH HAVING".
" If I were two faced, do you think I would be wearing this one?"   Abe Lincoln

Offline DeepWoods

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2004, 12:53:23 PM »
When I was growing up, one of the first jobs I had was working in a local hardware store.  The owner had one simple rule.  Meet the customer at the door and help them with whatever they needed until you walked them out the door.  If you were to answer the phone while helping a customer that was already there, Old Al would take you aside and let you know that you would not be working for him any longer if you did it again.  Even though I am not sawing for a livining, I still try to treat people that way.  I do hope that my woodshop will someday produce an income for me, and I would like to think that the people that know of me will know that I will treat  them with respect and want to do buisiness with me.  
Norwood LM2000 with 23 HP Briggs and 21 foot track, Hand Built Logging Arch, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and Setter. 48" Xtreme Duty Logrite Cant Hook.

Offline Mark M

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2004, 12:55:46 PM »
It really makes me mad to have to wait while they answer the phone too, I've got so I won't put up with it anymore. When I have a customer in my office the phone get's put on Do-Not-Disturb. I figure I owe it to them.

We have some crooked customers and others who won't accept responsibly when a problem was cause by their own people or actions. I have little respect for people who conduct business dishonestly. There are some customers that we do not need and this l learned from the man who owns the company.

Offline Norm

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2004, 04:24:24 AM »
We don't have any walk-in customers for our day job so answering the phone is where our orders come in. We always try to answer the phone by the first ring and answer it with a cheerful tone. No automated sytem here, with only two phone lines incoming we make sure that if we're busy with another call you'll get a busy signal although that's not often. You can tell within seconds what your dealing with. Most of our clients are nice to deal with but some have the holier than thou attitude. Every so often I'll get a doc that thinks that salespeople are low level and talk down to me. I have no respect for that and they get treated accordingly. On the other hand most are great to deal with and we'll go out of our way to help out if needed. More than a couple times Patty or I (usually Patty) will drive an emergency shipment to the shipper that's 45 minutes away.

My pet peeve is to walk into a store and the people just stand there and look like your bothering em. Parts counters at most places act like that. I take my business elsewhere whenever possible.

Offline CHARLIE

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2004, 05:43:17 AM »
Three things bug me to no end.
1. Being waited on at the counter and the person waiting on me picks up a ringing phone and then starts helping that person.  I expect him to ask the person to wait.  I have told the clerk that I must not be very important and left. When at IBM and someone came into my office, I would never pick up the phone unless it was an emergency call I was expecting.  But then, before my meeting started, I would explain that to my customer.

2. I hate being in a store and having to hear two or more clerks standing around gossiping, B.S.ing, or complaining about their workplace.    

3. I don't like to be ignored when I need help and I also don't like a clerk following me around as if I might steal something.

I blame employee conduct like that on the manager or the owner.  I believe that if most employees know the rules of conduct, they will follow them.  It's interesting that most of us have pretty much the same complaints on how we are treated. I just hope we all keep that in mind when we are dealing with our customers.  
Charlie
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Offline Frickman

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2004, 08:07:30 AM »
Man did I get wound up this morning. I stopped at a friend's convienence store/gas station to pick up a paper and chocolate milk. The clerk is ringing up the sale when some feller she knew walks in to buy lottery tickets. Well she promptly leaves me and waits on him. I only stuck around because I was thirsty and the place belongs to a friend.

Here in PA just about every gas station, convienence store and ma and pa diner sells lottery tickets. I don't play the lottery but if other folks want to then go right ahead. The store owners must be making a killing on them the way they treat other customers. I'd patronize places that don't sell them but there aren't too many around. You go into some service stations and there's a line eight or ten deep, but most for the lottery. You gotta wait there because you already pumped your gas. Do you folks in other states have this problem?
If you're not broke down once in a while, you're not working hard enough

I'm not a hillbilly. I'm an "Appalachian American"

Retired  Conventional hand-felling logging operation with cable skidder and forwarder, Frick 01 handset sawmill

Pretend farmer when I have the time

Offline steveo_1

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2004, 10:54:33 AM »
Frickman,the lottery people not only have a huge line around here but offen times sit around the counter to scratch them off to see if they won,very irritating to go in a store and see these people doing this day in and day out as if it was their job.
got wood?

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: CUSTOMERS ARE:
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2004, 01:47:34 PM »
Most places around here have two lines when the lottery is hot.  One line for lottery and one for other customers.  I won't go to places that have long lines, including KMart or SprawlMart.

One thing I find irritating are those paying with debit or charge cards.  You have to wait until there is a phone connection, and have to hope that the magnetic strip has demagnetized.

They have express lanes, but maybe they should have lanes for those who want to pay with either check or cash.  It would be a short line.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.


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