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Don't Throw Away a Customer Unless You Want to

Last updated May 28, 2014
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Losing a good client is bad enough but when it’s one of your best and you didn’t have to lose them then that’s heart-breaking. It’s also a wake-up call!

Losing a customer through no fault of your own, perhaps they hit the wall, is tough but when it could have been avoided it is just disastrous.

Let me explain with a story...

John runs a taxi business specialising in airport runs for both holiday bookings and a range of business customers who regularly fly.

One such customer had used John a couple of times a month for a few years. He expected great service every time. The taxi on time, well-dressed drivers and a clean car. A pretty reasonable request and a set of standards that John knew well.

4 times out of 5, John did the run himself but on the last occasion he had one of his drivers do the run. All his drivers know the rules and the standards expected of them.

The next thing John knew he had a call from his best client saying that he would not be needing his services anymore.

Why asked John.

The answer was that the driver turned up in jeans and a t-shirt. And that was enough to lose John the business. John was livid, angry at his driver’s sloppy approach but more disappointed that his driver didn’t understand what the issue was! John realised that no-one was ever going to be as passionate about his business as he was; but somehow he had to make his staff really care about his customers and giving them a consistent service.

John had set the standards but perhaps hadn’t really embedded them into the business, he hadn’t policed his drivers enough and reinforced why the standards were so important. Charlie Mullins did that at Pimlico Plumbers, but John hadn’t.

Too late to retrieve that client now but not too late to learn from the mistake. Standards were duly reinforced; John lead by example and checked all the time that his standards were being followed to the letter, every time and without exception.

What standards are you letting slip, just a little in your business? Could you be soon be losing a client if you don’t give consistently consistent service?

Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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