Making your Customers Partners

By: Joe Torrence
Take a number, press 1 for technical service, all of our service reps are busy...sound familiar? If your like me I've had to succumb to the inevitable world of technological advancement but somewhere along the way I (a person) have got lost in the shuffle.

Having to deal with auto menus and robotic web sites to place an order or ask a question has become a matrix of sterile graphics and personless decision making. I do need the product or I do need the technical question answered but there's more to a day than just the product or the question. We all need the touch and feel and value added of interaction with people just like us. Something is amiss if we've lost the touch with others whether it's good or bad, we still need it.

Maybe I'm bragging a little but we really like to touch customers at our company. Yes we accept faxed, mailed and even orders submitted through our web site but we jump at the chance to help our customers. They're not just an order number. They are a person, with real lives, issues and problems. Quite possibly, we can help them solve some of those problems but even if we can't, we want them to remember us. Cordial, honest, bend over backwards those are the characteristics that make partners out of customers.

How many times have you ordered something over the telephone and a week later haven't the foggiest who you spoke to. I'd bet you a dollar to a doughnut that if that order taker had invested in you as a partner, you'd remember.

Developing customer partnerships is an investment. Sure the phone call takes a little longer...seconds maybe. What is that worth to the person on the other end? Priceless, I bet.

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