Customer Relations

You are Never too Busy to Make Money

Last week I was having lunch with a client who owns a substantial construction firm. His phone pinged during our conversation. He apologized for looking at it, but he was waiting to hear on a couple of large bids. “Dammit!” he …
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The Tyranny of The Bad Customer

“The customer is always right,” or at least that’s what most business owners profess to their employees. We post it for all to see. “Customer satisfaction is job one.” “Our boss is the customer.” The most important person in our …
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Who Owns the Portal?

We are 30 years into the computer revolution, which I am arbitrarily marking as beginning in the mid-1980′s, when Apple II and IBM compatible (286) computers began to show up on the desks of people who weren’t in the “computer room.” …
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Customer Service Starts with "Hello."

When asked what differentiates their businesses from giant competitors, most owners will describe their relationship with customers. “We give better service.” “Our employees know our customers by name.” “We treat people as individuals.” What constitutes excellent service differs by industry …
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Size Means Nothing on the Web

A small manufacturer hires a local web development firm, and spends six months reworking his website. He agonizes over every word of the copy. He writes up product descriptions, detailing materials and tolerances. He adds page after page to the …
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Three Rules for Small Business

A few days ago a discussion on LinkedIn’s “Small Business Accelerator” group asked “What are the three things a small business owner should focus on?” As challenging as any business is, the basics remain the same for everyone. We provide goods or services, …
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Small Business and Social Media II

Last week’s column generated lots of comments, and probably requires some follow up. First, the army of social media fanatics that go ballistic at any hint that SM isn’t the be-all, end-all and answer-from-above for every marketing need on the planet …
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Does Technology Help or Threaten Small Businesses?

A small computer service company wants to sell Microsoft software licenses to its customers. They send an employee to become certified in licensing. (Microsoft offers some 600 variants.). As soon as they purchase a license, however, Microsoft begins soliciting that customer …
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Giving Referrals: Fire and Forget?

We all appreciate getting referrals. There is a feeling of gratification in knowing that someone thinks enough of your work to send a friend or associate your way. Referrals are usually the life’s blood of most small businesses. When I …
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Sales: Do You Have Customers or Clients?

Whether you have customers or clients is more than a matter of semantics. Some businesses use the term “clients” in an attempt to class up their image. Attorneys usually have clients. Kentucky Fried Chicken doesn’t, regardless of what they might say. Nordstrom? …
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