By Tom Borg ©2013
There is a man from my hometown by the name of Joe Slaga, owner of PJ’s, a baseball card shop. When customers enter his store, he makes them feel comfortable by his easy manner. He is a good people person. He realizes that people don’t want to be badgered into buying anything. By joking and exchanging stories with them about their favorite sports celebrity, he develops a friendly relationship with all the adults and children who come into the store. He has made it a favorite stopping place for many children to bring their parents to browse and buy.
There are other baseball card shops in the area, but his is the busiest. How does he do it? Simple. He makes it a point to be a friend to his customers.
One of the biggest advantages a small business person has is his ability to be a friend to his customers, to help them in a personable way to solve their problems. By setting the example for your staff or co-employees to follow, you are creating an opportunity for them to do a better job of serving customers.
Theodore Levitt, one of the national experts on customer service, says that “our customers want to have a business relationship with the people they buy from.” Our customers want to feel special. They want to know that they are not just another number or some vague entity. Being in a small business, you have a golden opportunity to distinguish your company from the rest of the competition by being a friend.
What are some of the things you, your staff and co-workers can do in your small business to be a friend to your customers? Hold a brainstorming session and make a list of seven ideas. Circle the top three ideas and take steps for implementing them this week.