Customer service keeps shoppers from getting disgruntled

IN doing some research with locals, I have been astounded at some of the examples of poor customer service recently.

Now, I am certain that there are just as many stories about good customer service, so it's not just a Gladstone issue.

But, with the downturn in construction already happening, I think it's worth reminding businesses that although you may be busy now, soon it will be back to servicing the local people.

As business owners, I'm sure there are many reasons why you can't quote on time, why you don't show up when you say you will and why you can't do what you promise, but let me remind you all about the disgruntled customer.

The disgruntled customer was a potential customer, who, through your marketing decided that your business was worth contacting.

The disgruntled customer was a potential customer who needed the goods and services that you have strategically decided to place on the market to service people of the region.

The disgruntled customer was a potential customer who took time out of their day to visit your outlet or contact you via phone or email to request your goods or services.

The disgruntled customer was a potential customer who was looking to Buy Local, rather than "shop online" or go out of the region to meet their needs.

It may be that you had deadlines to meet, you couldn't meet their needs, that you forgot to show up or phone to let the customer know that you couldn't meet an appointment, or that you simply didn't like the person.

The disgruntled customer is now no longer a potential customer, but worse, they can turn into a "disgruntled enemy" who will go forth and spread the word of your business weaknesses to anyone that cares to listen.

Please, please, please businesses, if you are going to say you will do something, do it.

Have a process to keep up to date with email and phone inquiries. It's better to be told that it will take a week to quote than to wait with no response.

And if you can't do something, please keep the customer informed.

Simple customer service can keep a potential customer from becoming a "disgruntled enemy".