GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Keep those customers coming back

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

Going the extra mile will always pay off in the end

The facts are this. When people receive poor service, they love telling other people about it. Some statistics claim that if a person gets bad service from a business over 250 people will end up hearing about it. Yikes! How scary is that? All you need is one slip up; one bad day and you can destroy all the good will you have worked so hard to build up over the years.

It’s almost as if people feel that the one good thing about getting poor service is being able to talk about it to other people…and we all know that they do. Fact is, people love retelling horror stories.

And I have to admit that I fall victim to that as well. We all do.

But don’t get scared, or worse yet, discouraged, there are ways to prevent your company and your team from ever performing poorly and that is to create a company culture that instills good service into everything your company does.

But it starts at the top, it starts with the owners, the managers and most importantly it begins with the examples these people set.

If your employees hear you complain about a customer, they are tacitly being given permission to do the same. If on the other hand they watch the company owner, for example, treat every customer with the utmost respect, they will model that behavior as well. In the way business is like parenting. The children in a family are much more likely to model their parents’ behavior than they are to do what their parents tell them to do. Remember that old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Sorry, but that could be the dumbest thing any parent or any company leader ever told anyone.

We all know that the first rule of running a business is that the customer is always right. Second and third rules are, refer to the first rule. While that is the paradox of customer service there is another rule that I recommend and that is developing the customer for life.

It is much easier for better business to have customers for life than to consistently have a turnover in new customers Here is the thing to remember, most people will use your service once. The key is to get them to use your service forever.

That idea should always be at the front of your company thinking so that when someone comes into your hardware store for the first time, even if it’s only to buy a box of nails, you should treat that person with the same special service as you do the contractor who is buying thousands of dollars of materials from you every month.

In the end, this is a very simple idea. No matter what your business, from bookstore, to diner, to hardware store, if you treat every customer as a lifetime customer, and give them the special service that it takes to do that, you’ll always be growing your business.

Dan Beaulieu has owned his own business consulting firm since 1995, during that time he has helped hundreds of companies all over the world with their sales growth challenges and issues. Originally from Maine he returned a few years ago and is ready and willing to help his fellow Mainers start and grow their business. He can be reached at 207-649-0879 or at


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