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I agree with bizNewbie - 1,000,000%!

Posted By: Scott
Thursday, 5 January 2006, at 10:34 a.m.

In Response To: Why small businesses deserve to fail...... (BizNewbie)

Eventhough this lack of service is rampant everywhere - most of the time, it still amazes me when I encounter it.

The public will not complain verbally, since it's so common, but either accept it for the convenience (with the same indifference they experience) or go elsewhere. However, should I encounter better than average serivce, I tend to go back. (most people feel this way).

The problem is that most owners of small businesses have no clue about how to effectively deal with the customer, so they don't train their help either - they can't teach what they don't know.

The lifetime value of a repeat customer eludes so many that getting the most from the immediate sale is business as usual for most small businesses. A lot of larger businesses miss this mark too.

Michael Gerber, in his popular book - "The E-Myth Revisited" - explains that many people who go into business because they are good at something are known as "technitions of their trade". But, most of the time, they have no clue about how to effectively market and properly grow their business and this includes treating the customer well. They know how to make great blueberry pies, for example, but not how to do it as a business.

I used to aquire closed restaurants, (often just for taking over the lease), build them with great food and superb customer service and then sell them for a nice profit!

This can work with any closed business that failed due to failure to attract enough people and turn them into loyal repeat regulars.

"Location, location, location" works to a point, but provide superior customer service and they will go out of their way to give you their business and bring others over and over again.

I know this because I did it several times.

Just treat customers like friends or family who just stopped by and they'll feel special and important enough to help your business succeed. Of course, the opposite is true and much more common!


> I am of the opinion that a lot of people who run small businesses deserve
> to fail.
> All of my best, recent shopping experiences have been with large, big-box
> stores like Best Buy, Home Depot, etc. I was greeted when I walked in the
> door, asked if I needed help, and was given no sign that they were
> "doing me a favour" for being there. They give me many options
> to contact them if a problem arose, and I was treated with respect. These
> opinions are based on my last 4 shopping outings.

> This past week I have gone to 3 small businesses.
> The first was a home-based business, which advertises, "Electronics
> Repair" on the front lawn. I eagerly lugged my broken TV there. I
> went to the door - no one answered. Fair enough, they were out. However,
> there was absolutely no way to contact them. No message on the door, no
> phone # posted, etc. I went back again today, same thing. I took my TV to
> the nearest "bigger" store, and they cheerfully fixed it for me.
> When I arrived there was a sign on the store saying, "out to
> lunch" be back at 1pm, and a # to call in case of an emergency,
> etc". They got my business. The poor home-based schmuck didn't.

> Today I went with my friend to a small computer store. My friend's CD
> drive on his laptop was not working. He wanted to fix it, or get a new
> one. There were 2 employees and no customers in the store. They looked at
> us like we were bothering them. My friend told them his problem, and asked
> for help. They simply said that they didn't know if they could help, and
> they were a little busy. After a moment of awkward silence, my friend
> asked if they could see if they had a drive that would fit his computer.
> Without EVEN LOOKING AT IT, he said "I dunno, they are all
> different", or something. He turned back to his task. We left without
> a word and drive to a big-box retailer. Not only dd the technician open it
> free of charge, he gave recommendations as to what to purchase if we
> wanted. There was no charge. They got our purchase.

> Finally, I went to a small used bookstore. I was not greeted, nor asked if
> I needed assistance. I was simply viewed suspiciously and the older lady
> followed me around to make sure I wasn't stealing anything. I said to her,
> "don't worry, i am not going to steal my usual amount today,if that's
> what you think".She got all flustered and tried to make up some
> excuse. I told her to quit lying, she was assuming I was going to steal
> something. I told her to keep her over-priced books, I would take my
> business elsewhere, and that is what I did -straight to Indigo where I
> purchased a nice novel I began reading tonight.

> I am not going to even get into all the horrible service I get at local
> shopping malls. Big Box stores not only compete on price, but on giving
> great service.

> I am guess I am venting slighly, but my expectations are extremely high
> for customer service and small business keep letting me down, time and
> time again.
> BizNewbie

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