Here’s something to think about… are you a good customer yourself?
We’ve all seen rude people in restaurants and shops, but if you are a business paying another business for a product/service, being a bad customer can really damage your brand.
Every opportunity we have to communicate or connect with somebody is a chance to build our brand and get across what we are all about, so in a situation when you are paying somebody to help enhance your brand, this is a crucial opportunity to build up a good relationship with somebody who has the potential to become a good referrer of your product or service themselves.
At the end of the day you are paying them to do something – you are in their good books, and they will feel obligated to help your business too – so don’t screw it up and end up in their bad books.
Here are some tips…
1. They’re the expert – not you, that’s why you hired them so don’t pretend you know everything and be welcoming and open to their ideas.
2. Let them do their thing – If you trust the service provider then let them get on with it because they will probably know best and if you hold them back then you probably won’t get the best results.
3. Be organised and clear about what result you want from the outset so there are no nasty surprises for either of you.
4. Be forthcoming with information and tell the truth, the whole truth.
5. Be as helpful as possible.
6. Respond to communications as soon as possible, so they aren’t annoyed waiting for your comments.
7. Be constructive and give praise, nothing gets you down more than someone who doesn’t appreciate you.
8. Keep the relationship friendly.
9. Don’t be rash or get mad if it’s not right the first or second time, be patient and they will appreciate it and try harder for you.
Don’t be surprised if, after dealing with you and getting to know your service/brand, they themselves buy from you or refer business to you.
Obviously if the service provider is rubbish then it can be hard to do all the above points, but be patient and understanding. One of the big reasons you should be a good customer is that if the service provider is happy and likes you – chances are you’ll get a better service!?
ACTION: If you are currently paying somebody to do a job, send them an email to say how happy you are with the progress thus far – they will appreciate it!
ACTION: Think about the last time you were a ‘customer’ do you think you could have behaved any differently and got better results, and made a better relationship?