The Invisible Customer

Quite often, you might have put a client/customer to a sales representative engrossed with a friend or associate, not paying attention to the client/customer you entrusted to him/her.

You must have said many times to various store assistants, not to get preoccupied with conversations with their friends/associates and be attentive while on duty. Quite a few of them might have looked at you, as though you have snatched away from them, the most important moments in their life, by putting eager clients/customers to them.

Have you at any point had an encounter this way?

Years back, when the competition was non-existent in business or store, buyers might have tolerated this kind of attitude from sales assistants.

Entrepreneurs used to have a carefree nature, by charging their clients/customers hefty fees, without actually delivering them for which they approached you.

Today, the rivalry is savage, especially with the intensity of the Internet and extending worldwide markets.

Today the clients/customers have a different attitude. If the customer feels that they are not getting the required attention, they simply walk out because he/she can pick any number of different businesses that will readily give her what she’s searching for.

She doesn’t need to leave her home if she wouldn’t like to! She can shop online from several sellers who will readily convey the merchandise right to her doorstep.

What does this new truth of directing business mean to you as an entrepreneur or a locally established business person?

It implies you need to give outstanding client support and top quality items if you need to assemble long haul associations with your customers and clients.

On the off chance that you have workers, it is additionally important that they comprehend the significance of causing every client to feel like a million-dollar client. It’s everything about the experience you give the inclination your client has while working with you.

Become acquainted with your clients. Find out what your client/customer wants and attend to them as if they are your most favored client/customer. Make it a highlight comprehend what it is they need to make or tackle, at that point, if you can give an answer, offer it to them.

Building a fruitful, productive business is reliant on setting up long haul, steadfast clients. Pursuing new clients to supplant the individuals who are not returning can get tiring and costly.

As you serve new and existing clients and customers, make them feel heard, seen, and esteemed. Nobody likes to be undetectable, particularly the individuals who are going to hand over their well-deserved cash.

Deal with each client like a million-dollar client and make them feel that he/she is a very important customer you value. When a customer starts coming regularly, give them a welcome smile, and if possible address them with their name. Make you the customer feel you are known. Then that customer will bring more customers. When a regular customer brings in new customers, give them a measurable welcome and address them with their name, in front of their friends (new customers).

About the author

Murali Krishna Akilla is a founder member of Compumatrix. He is a writer and blogger. At the age of 72 years, he keeps writing.

Comments

  1. We were taught that the customer is always right. I think that is old school now though cos these big corporations like Walmart and Cosco’s don’t seem to follow that advice anymore. They want your money, and as soon as you checkout, they are done with you. OH did I mention they don’t even want to check you out now, you “use the self-check aisle, please!!”

    1. Everything you said in your blog is so true, Murali, but that isnot what most customers, today are experiencing. Especially with the big corporate businesseses that think you cannot exist without them, like Comcast. The worst in my opinion. Comcast was one of my internet providers providers and there support help was very incompetent. Their prices was raisedevery three months it seems and it got to the point that the customer had more technicalm skills than the technican. If they thought you were terminating your service with them they would charge you all kinds of surcharges to punish you, and flag your number so your number is blocked from futurecontact. Incidently they lost a customer permanently. I unplugged their equipment and left it out side one of their local service stores. I was done.

  2. Just celebrated 20 year anniversary at walmart and yes it is changing unfortunately. I have been in electronics for 12 yrs and I have customers that will not even go in there unless I am there they do not want to deal with anyone but me, management hates it and I have been told and warned not to spend more then 15 min with a customer they have even moved me to the garden center which I love the 6-3 hours anyway it is all about crunching the numbers now they time us to stock the merchandise you are only allowed 45 min or 30min ect… I heard robots are coming and they are experimenting with self serve stores completely with maybe only 10 people all self checkouts and robots to stock. The reason the customers like me is because I tell them the truth that is junk don’t buy it or that is top line best money for your deal, down to earth Christian honesty and they love me for it.

  3. A Customer is always right and should always be given top priority. Businesses survive and grow because they have a good clientele. A satisfied client will recommend his family and friends, who in turn will spread the good word to more people. Every business owner is also a buyer of many products that he needs to buy for his home. Even those who buy on line and ask for home delivery, need to be catered to, satisfactorily.

  4. Spot on Murali. As a sales manager, owner, and someone who has been in the “people” business for most of my life, I have found that if you treat a customer/client with proper respect and that means being attentive, straight forward and paying attention to their needs, you can and will be successful.

    Ignore them and they are out the door and worse they will likely say something not so nice about you in the customer reviews. Every bad review contributes to lose of revenue dollars. A quote I was told and one of the few that I remember was pounded into my head by a manager who hired me to sell yachts at a very exclusive marina in Florida. He told me to read the plaque on the wall and never forget it. “Jason killed 10,000 Philistines with the jaw bone of an ass. Most sales are lost the same way daily.”

    To survive in business today you have to stand out among the competition. If you come across as being knowledgable, honest, attentive and friendly, customers will keep coming back and send their friends and family to support your business. Word of mouth is a huge part of any successful business.

  5. Hi Murali Krishna, you just hit the nail on the head, customer services is not the same anymore, I believe online shopping and the internet had a big effect on that, customers nowadays, just go to Best Buy to see the computers and the TV’s and they go home and buy them online. That’s why lot of big chains are closing down, like Sears and others. Small business owners have to do their best and give more attention to keep their existing clients and work on referral programs to have new clients, its not that easy anymore.

  6. We grew up in a friendly customer service time , no matter if you were at a gas station where they filled your gas tank , washed your wind shield , checked your oil and with some friendly chit chat and always with a smile… now that is all gone self service and to find full service is a rear occurrence.

    I went to a local hard wear store and no one smiled or talked to people. found out their boss told all the workers not to chat with the customers . Times have changed , not for the better either.

  7. Well, Gail, I’m sorry but you are wrong! Walmart isn’t done with you after you check out at all. They are done with you before you even enter the store. I remember my first job in counter sales (McD). I always greeted every customer with respect. (And I’m from New York where disrespect is an expectation!)

    1. Times have changed over the last few years as to the courtesy provided to the customer. It is a sad situation when we have to accept the company policy at face value. Reading all the fine print before doing business will keep a consumer from doing business where their interest comes first.

  8. This is not good – there is an undercurrent agenda wherein people are being replaced with machines, robots, etc. People are protesting; for example, not going through the self check out line at Walmart. If we don’t wish to become zombies, then we must embrace being treated as humans and our emotions catered to for becoming satisfied customers and increasing sales of those types of businesses who do so.

  9. wow reading this great blog and then reading the replies of those who are mostly in my age bracket — it is sad how the new age of internet and electronics have taken the hand to hand face to face business part of small business away ?? am so happy when go to store and see peeps my age — they expect to talk to you — but young peeps just look other way — sad but true — great blog Krish —

  10. Your words are so true, Murali. We always put the customer first when we were in operation. Life is tough, and it does not hurt an individual to be kind and understanding of their clients or potential purchasing customers, be they purchasing goods or services. It makes me groan inside when I go to a store, and the clerk is looking all around and talking to someone and not paying attention to what they are doing. They automatically scan and beep, they do not need to converse with the customer, and it seems to take forever for them to check you out.

  11. I think in any business, the customer should be the primary focus. Not only to be sure the customer has a pleasant buying experience, but to keep the customer happy so they want to return. With social media, opinions travel fast. If you have happy customers, they will let others know about your business. A good customer review is worth gold!

  12. Great topic, Murali! Indeed, the customer is everything to any business, and it used to be where many businesses did not fully understand this fact. While in past eras it was both far more challenging to gather data about customer needs and desires – the lifeblood of all marketing campaigns- and very costly, we now use technology to gather information at mind-boggling speed. This, combined with the improved attitude of the business owner has catapulted the quality of customer service and satisfaction to new heights!

  13. Working in sales you have to know that customer service is #1!!!! Every customer needs to feel special and look to you as a resource. I’ve worked in sales for almost 30 years and learned many things over the years. My customers can use a variety of products but I work hard to make using my product as easy as possible. Many of my customers end up becoming my friends. During Covid I have had to have only phone interactions with them and I look forward to the day I can see them again.

  14. I have a different point of view with the replies above. I think here in the US, nobody treats the customer as well as other countries, or at least the ones I have been to. For instance, in no other place you can return merchandise and get a full refund even after 30 and in some cases 60 days, obviously with the purchase receipt. If an item doesn’t fit the customer’s pleasure, they can promptly returned it and only in some cases you have to pay re-stocking fees. This does’t happen anywhere in other parts of the globe, if you buy it, it’s yours, whether you like it or change your mind. I find, most cashiers do their job well, I have met a few rude ones but nothing I had to complain about it.

  15. I completely agree Murali Krishna Akilla – customer service is very important in today’s world because there are so many providers of products that are practically identical! Also, even though a person uses a service once does not mean they are going to come back unless their customer experience was enjoyable.

  16. It is sad how businesses have turned cold. The relationship between Salesperson and clients many times grow apart. Greed has become a common denominator.
    I will not return to a place where I was not treated with the respect that a customer deserves. No, I don’t always have to be right, but do want to leave with peaceful customer satisfaction feeling.

  17. The customer should always be number one. In our work place, the customer needs to have 100% of someone’s attention if they are in our place of business. In the case of Compumatrix, our downlines cannot be ignored. We must assist them in every way possible to make sure that they also succeed. We should not bring them into our store and count on them discovering what we offer by themselves. This could lead to a total disaster in their experience, which will also look bad on us!

  18. The lack of real connection between customer and provider is the saddest part of it all. I know times must change but some things should remain as part of the fabric of existence. Good manners, eye contact, a welcoming smile, an offer to help, remembering details (a name for example), being respectful, the list could go on. Somehow the pride in having a job on the frontline of a job, be it receptionist, bank teller, store clerk, pump attendant, has been diminished. As Murali says, whatever business you run, you need customers/clients, their satisfaction should be your focus. (I just keep smiling directly at them until they have no choice but to smile back!)

  19. I thank that all customer service personnel should be required to look up and memorize the definition of the word service in the dictionary. Let me just put it this way, one good client/customer can be worth a lot of money over the lifetime of your relationship, so why wouldn’t you give them your full undivided attention.

  20. Small towns still have some of the old values with regard to their customers but the bigger the business, the bigger the clientele, the bigger the likelihood of poor customer care. I am only referring in this instance to walk in businesses. Most online businesses do seem to try to provide customer service but it is often lacking the personal touch. My children have worked as online customer service reps and I was horrified by what they had to deal with.

  21. I have thought long and hard about commenting to this. Now that my Dad has mentioned our work in online customer service and his shock, I have decided to follow up. Whilst living abroad we needed to work remotely and took a friend up on his offer to be customer service reps for his online stores. He sold through his own site as well as other marketplaces. We were brought up to be polite and helpful, so the way the customers behaved (sadly the majority, not minority) was a very rude awakening. Somehow the internet interaction has given people permission to be rude, vulgar and abusive, with no reason. It is a soul destroying job and I am so glad I no longer do it. This is why I really feel for those ladies who work so hard at CNII to keep things going, to keep positive and smile, I understand how tough it can be. Keep Strong!!

  22. I agree that, in general, customer service is not what it used to be. There is now and have always been those business that really devote time and attention to each customer, as well as those who treat customers as though they are invisible.
    I visited a well known electronics store around 20 years ago to make a large purchase. When I entered the store I was perusing the merchandise while waiting for an associate to help me. I saw an associate wandering around and looking everywhere and did look in my direction but never approached. After a few minutes, I was going to approach the associate, but just then, another customer walked in the establishment and the associate went right to HIM and asked if he could help him.
    I was shocked and infuriated that the associate would not even ask to help me because I was a WOMAN!! He probably did not think me smart enough or rich enough to spend his time with me.
    On my way out I stopped in front of the ASSociate and declared that because I had been so rudely ignored I was taking my business elsewhere to spend my money on an expensive television and sound system.
    That has stuck with me to this day apparently, and made an impression on me that all customers are to be respected and at least acknowledged if they want my business.

  23. What a shame that the world is changing so ,that no one wants to take time to chat ,smile
    ( smiles .. they are FREE ) I run two business over my life time and my whole aim was customers first . If they took the time to enter my store ,then I had time for them. I loved helping them . making them feel better than when they entered my Gift store. I had fun , They had fun and it showed by them coming back to visit my store and hope to visit me.

  24. I am very careful in serving my customers, because without them there is no reason for my business to exist. In my opinion, human resources (both customers and staff) are the greatest assets of a company, and therefore you must take care with great attention!

  25. At any point of purchase. I always prefer where am being treated and handled well. In any premises shop, a client is always right. Whatever product or service you are selling. I can just get it, at the next shop. If employed as a sales representative. Definitely, I will treat customers as I would like to be treated. Always using a positive language and being attentive to customers requirements. More importantly, courtesy is always the key. Thanking customers for their patience, understanding and welcoming them again for the next time.

  26. It is interesting to observe how the interaction between a customer and shop assistants works in different countries, there are certainly differences in expectations and people in general in some countries are more polite.
    The customer support at online providers is equally important, it is very annoying to get just a standard copy and paste response when our issue is quite specific and requires a solution. Of course the product and price are important, however the way we are treated as customers is crutial for our overall experience, future purchases and potential recommendations.

  27. love the conversation here in the replies and blog — went to walmart this morn and did their pickup service — gotta admit that the gal who was my customer service person Excellent absolutely — seriously don’t miss the impersonal part of computer biz — and literally would much rather have peep to peep interaction — but with the global issues guess have to get used to the computer and the non personal aspects of that ??? this blog is great info and great wisdom actually —

  28. Yes, so true Krish , costumers should have the feeling that his presence is very important to the store. If I don’t get the needed attention, it may be my last visit there. If I had like you said a pleasant experience in that store I will highly recommend it to my friends, so yes having the best treatment for that customer can and will bring in others. You can make it or break it, it’s up to the owner and also the people working there.. we have today so many options to shop, and more and more we just order online without having to step in any store anymore if we choose so.

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