Do you have a cold shoulder?
Lindsey and I have spoken often about how important it is to make your customers feel valued.
To feel as though you're listening to them; that you care about their problems.
It's the easiest way to keep customers.
And the best way to have them recommend you to others.
Done well it can set you up with work for years to come.
But this advice is not always well heeded ...
This week Lindsey spoke with a lovely guy from a scaffolding business about some work supporting CIS compliance.
It was a topic he was familiar with.
In fact, he'd used someone to help before.
He had a company pay his subbies in order to eliminate employment risk.
It cost nothing at all to him but gave him peace of mind.
But it didn't work out.
Not because of the service, but because of something much simpler.
His main reason for leaving this provider was because he felt he was getting an impersonal service.
It was entirely transactional.
Problems were dealt with robotically, and beyond the initial conversations, he'd had no engagement with the directors since signing with them -
alarm bells were already ringing at this point.
And at no stage did he feel rapport was built - or that they were interested in him or his business. He was just another number on their balance sheet.
This company had forgotten that people buy from people.
Creating a trusted relationship is the easiest way to build a long term engagement - without it, it becomes the easiest way to lose customers.
This is one of the things that make Business Buddies different.
Our customers only deal with the owners - myself and Lindsey.
It is also relationships we crave. It's what makes business work. And it's what makes busines fun. Working with people.
So, today's small business tip is to remember: people buy from people.
They don't want robots.
And they don't want to spend money with people they can't develop a relationship with.