You have heard the saying that "actions speak louder than words". It is so true, especially when it comes to business relationships. We talked about places to keep in contact with the Power of Ten in the last chapter, as a basis for doing business. This chapter is more concentrated on doing the work through commitment and follow-up. You cannot expect to keep a customer unless you provide them with excellent customer service. You may argue that price is also an issue but I believe that a person will not mind paying a higher price (providing it is not too high) for the best customer service they have ever experienced. Look around you and you will see that you can buy the same types of clothing from a number of locations such as Wal Mart, Target, Sears, Nordstrom's etc. Wal Mart offers unbelievably low prices and their customer service is good as well but Nordstrom's offers unbelievable customer service with higher prices. You may say that the quality of the clothing is a big part, but the point is we are willing to pay more if the customer service is there.
Nurturing a business relationship therefore has to do with providing customer service. I know a car dealer that gets business not only from the local area but his customers come back to him once they have moved. The reason is that he bends over backwards to give customer service. If they have to bring their car in for a tune-up or servicing, he makes sure he is there in the morning when they drop their car off and takes them to work, no matter where it is. He also goes back to pick them up when the car is ready.
This person is totally committed to customer service and even though his customers can buy elsewhere at a lower price, they do not. They prefer to deal with him. He has taken on a motto to "Thrill the Customer" at every point along the way.
Bette Daoust, Ph.D.