In spite of it often being pointed out that people like to do business with people they like, some business owners and staff still don’t get it.
Here’s a story of how a sign shop just lost a customer because of two staff members doing their best to be dislikeable. And the worst part about it is that they lost a customer over something unrelated to printing. We can all learn a lesson from this experience.
I’ve used this sign shop in question in the past for various small printing jobs such as personalized mugs, mouse pads, and plaques. Not big jobs but then they have no idea who I am. Like any other “small” customer I could have been someone involved in politics who may one day need lawn signs, or someone associated with a company who may one day need a big order of POS signs. Just because someone has only bought a few mugs and a couple of mouse pads in the past, you can’t make assumptions about future purchases.
Anyway, I knew that they also served as a FedEx agent. So when I recently had a FedEx parcel for pickup, I took it to this print shop. Two people were sitting at desks each about ten feet behind the front counter. Without getting up one of them asked me what I wanted. I told her that I had a FedEx parcel to drop off. She told me to just leave it on the counter. I said I’d like to have it weighed since I didn’t know the weight and I also didn’t want to leave a $1,200 original pencil drawing lying on the counter. She reluctantly got up, weighed the parcel, and sat down again. I asked about insurance and was told that since I was paying FedEx I would have to call FedEx for that information. If I were paying them, she’d find out about the insurance. The second person agreed with her. They weren’t going to help me.
The indifferent attitude and no attempt to be helpful was a big turnoff. I took an immediate dislike to them and, by extension, the sign shop. And since people do business with people they like, and avoid people they don’t like, they lost me as a customer. Okay, so they will survive just fine without my occasional mug and mouse pad orders, but what if I were a customer with a big sign order coming down the pike?
Every staff member needs to understand what being dislikeable can do to your business. Do your staff members understand this?