We all have customers – those who receive a product or service from us. Everyone understands the traditional customer in a business or retail setting. But customers can be as close to home as our children or spouses who count on us to deliver various things they need. Those we work with and for can be our customers too, as we provide services to them that add value to our companies.
Any entrepreneur knows that it’s much easier to keep a customer than to find a new one. And so our efforts should be focused on those customers we have, making them more than one-time customers. If we can serve our customers well and do all we can to develop those relationships, they will be our customers for life. Not only that, they will become our greatest salespersons.
In my writing, I try to think of my readers as my customer. They are exchanging hard-earned (and often very limited) dollars for one of my novels. I had better deliver! I need to deliver a rewarding and valuable experience to them, completely satisfying. If I can do that, then I’ve won my customer over. And if I can continue to provide that same level of service again and again, I’ll have a customer for life.
Recently I had a great customer experience, which has gone a long way into making me a lifelong customer. I recently purchased a Kindle from Amazon. A few weeks ago that darn thing slipped away from me and hit the floor. Despite being in a padded leather cover, the screen cracked in the upper left corner. I was able to use various settings to shrink the screen size where I could continue to use it, but the cracks kept spreading until the screen was unreadable.
During my Kindle’s slow decent into uselessness, I’d been doing my research. There are no repair services to speak of, and I hadn’t purchased the extended warranty which would offer full replacement even if I broke it. So it seemed I was out of luck. I don’t have a lot of extra money, so I wasn’t sure what I’d do.
When it finally died, I decided to call Amazon to see if I could get a discount on a replacement. It was worth a try, right? Well, a very helpful customer service rep listened to my story and to my surprise, she told me it sounded like it was under warranty. I was speechless. Really? It’s under warranty? I’m going to get a free replacement? Yes, she said, I was. And not only that, she shipped it overnight and I got it the next day.
Amazon’s service has made me a customer for life. And as you read this, I’m here being a great salesman for them. All I can say is “wow”. I hope as a writer (and in other areas of my life) I can attain the level Amazon has.
So what about you? What are some good customer services you’ve had? Who are your “customers”?