You probably learned growing up that first impressions are everything. This is something that I see several business owners forget time and time again. I’ve seen eBay sellers with poor people skills, a local eBay Trading Assistant with a profile full of negative remarks toward potential clients, and an affiliate manager who talks down to his affiliates. I don’t claim to be a business scholar, but I’ve always believed the first rule of business is the golden rule; treat others the way you’d like to be treated. So why in the world would these people scare away potential customers and clients by being a jerk?
It Doesn’t Matter If You’re Right
The goal of your business isn’t to be correct, it’s to make a profit. This doesn’t mean you need to bend over backwards for a customer who’s a terrible pain, but it does mean that you should treat that customer with respect. Everyone deserves to be treated like a human being, and if that particular human being has the potential to put money in your pocket, acting like a jerk isn’t going to help that cause! A healthy dose of humility is more useful in business than a bad attitude.
You’re Not The Soup Nazi
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the legendary Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. If you don’t order quickly and keep moving, he’ll deny you service with his famous catch phrase “No Soup For You!” Perhaps he can get away with this because he’s a legend, and because his attitude is what makes him famous. Unless you’re the best of the best, have a line full of customers lining up the door that you can’t keep up with, and have customers who like being talked down to, you probably don’t have any business giving your customers the cold shoulder!
A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way
We’ve all had our share of bad customer service. Whether it was a clueless retail clerk, a rude sales representative, or an online store that messed up your order, mistakes happen. When you’re responsible for dealing with that mistake, going above and beyond what’s necessary to correct the problem – while treating the customer with respect – can leave a lasting memory. When you give your customers a reason to remember why doing business with you was better than your competitor, they just might come back – or even recommend you to a friend.