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Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
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Why Your Customers, Even Your Loyal Ones, Break Up With You

A friend of mine just experienced a bad breakup. After 8 years, she ended it. With her dogs’ groomer.

She had been going to the same dog grooming shop for 8 years. Yesterday she vowed to never return. Why? What happened?

A few things dramatically changed when the shop hired new people.

Inaccessibility:  In the past year, they have suddenly become difficult on the phone. It is hard to make appointments. They treat customers like it is favor to book appointments. The waiting list for her dogs to get haircuts is 6 weeks. (I, on the other hand, can walk into Supercuts any time.)

Rudeness:  Once people were finally able to get an appointment, the new staff people were rude, abrupt, and a little nasty.  Worse, the new staff didn’t seem to like dogs.  She approached them like they are a commodity, instead of family members.

Poor quality:  Finally, she gave my friend’s dogs the worst haircuts they have ever gotten.  I saw them.  They looked worse than that time Dolly got into a briar patch and I had to shave her bald. (That was really ugly.) Then the groomer defended the bad grooming by saying the dogs needed it, even though they had just been groomed just 6 weeks before.

She was rude, patronizing, and she provided a poor service.

My friend said she would never return.

The business owner forgot the three important deliverables when hiring new people. She forget that what people want, regardless of whether they are at a retail store, buying online, or seeing their doctor comes down to just three things:

People want a good quality product, they want the process to be easy, and they want their interactions with people to be pleasant.

Many customers will forgive one of those once, but all three at once is a deal-breaker.   I blame the business owner. If you are hiring people, you need to understand that they represent you and your business. The quality needs to be high from everyone involved. Most people have a choice about where they buy and with whom they interact, and they  don’t need to do business with organizations where staff is rude and the quality is poor.

Are your people representing you and your business? How are you sure? What are you doing to make sure that your customers get the right treatment every time? Let us know!


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