The client is the top priority in any business - who is not familiar and doesn't agree with this statement? But, is the above axiom actually put to practice?
Recently, I was reading an article where Guy Kawasaki made several smart sarcastic comments on the "startup" culture in Australia where the main actual priority is "choosing whether we should have free sushi or free pasta today". Customer care stays only on paper and in optimistic slogans - not in real practice. This can be said not just about startups - the lack of attention to clients' needs and issues has become a business sub-culture.
BiziNet wishes to declare 2019 The Year of the Client.
The most important view of a client to have is that the Client is not just a walking money bag - it's a person or a group of people who need a product or a service which they are willing to pay for. Any dishonest treatment will bring their business, their personal live, their family wellbeing and possibly their life at risk.
There are a lot of articles written, seminars ran, great speeches done praising trust, collaboration, quality of service and the whole lot of other great things - which absolutely have no place when we come down to day-to-day business operations.
What can be actually done to bring this marvellous theory into our lives back again?
First of all, the Client must always have a full and complete understanding of what they receive and on what conditions. This ensures that they have a 100% chance of making the right decision. Presenting only the "good" side of a deal and hiding the "not so attractive" conditions is not a good practice - you will end up loosing your position in the future as a supplier.
Secondly, stick to your word - be brave. It doesn't matter how small your promise is. For example, if you organised a meeting and forgot about it, make the first step and offer some other times with your apologies. It's not the end of the world to accept you missed something - face it with your full honesty.
Thirdly, talk to people openly trying to resolve a possible unpleasant issue. It's easier than you think - stop hiding and face it as it's your problem. And it is - if not now, but later it will bite you right in your business bottom side.
We would like to encourage members of our business network to share their problem resolution/customer care success stories. Those stories should be an open admission of your fault or a problem your client was facing before doing business with you, and details of the solution you heroically provided by facing it honestly and openly.
It's my turn now. Once, I completely forgot to put a small ad of my good old client into the next issue of BiziNet. It happened only once in my 18 years of my publishing career. This fact didn't take my pain away. My solution was: a full page article plus this small ad he paid for free of charge in the next upcoming issue. And then, the small ad as he paid for in the following issue. He called me with his appreciation of the resolution. I lost a bit of income, but I didn't loose my dignity and pride for my business.