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Welcoming new clients: the easy way or the hard way?

July 18, 2016

puppy with stack of books

I’ve been ordering inventory for the upcoming holiday season.  Please do NOT tell my staff who are blissfully actually enjoying the sun and the warm weather unaware that my thoughts are with Thanksgiving, December and New Year’s.  Shhhhh!

Of the 21 companies I’ve spoken with in the past 48 hours, I’ve had two decidedly different types of experiences.  Most have been incredibly welcoming to me as a new customer.  They have offered information, addressed my concerns and answered my questions.  It’s pretty much what you expect when you are the one spending money.  Lots of money.  These are the companies we love to support because they appreciate what we bring to the table.  Namely, that money.  🙂

Then there are the others.

These are the companies that act like I’m doing them a favor.  Getting a real person on the phone is a challenge.  Getting a return phone call is an honor.  Getting information is like periodontal surgery.  By now you ask why I persevere and I totally understand the question because I ask it as well.  If it is a product that I can get elsewhere, I do.  But in most of these cases, they actually have something I really want for the shop so I suck it up to slog through.

Now I’ve gotten that live person and the answers to my questions and I proceed to the actual order.  I send an email detailing my billing address, my shipping address, the item numbers of what I want and the quantities of each item.  What has incensed me these past few days is the number of companies that have responded NOT with a thank you, NOT with an expression of appreciation and not with a confirmation that the order will be processed as requested.  No, they have sent me their standard order form where they want me to send the exact same information but ON the forms, not IN an email.

So I ask you:  which kind of company are you?  The kind that welcomes new clients with warmth and gratitude or the kind that requires jumping through hoops?  Are your clients feeling appreciated or tortured?  Every now and then we need to review our processes and ensure that they aren’t costing us potential business.  Because I can promise you that I know which companies shall get my business once and only once!  It’s not rocket science to figure out that we’d rather deal with vendors that make the experience a pleasant one.

Posted in: News & Notes