How Long Can You Ignore Customer Requests?

April 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment


Not long if you want to stay in business.

The reason for the headline is that in the media in Australia there were articles about how 24% of small to medium businesses are likely to cut staff and Smart Company reports how the Council of Small Business of Australia is once again requesting help to support small businesses. Ever since the economic troubles began there have been repeated requests for help for small businesses.

As with many other countries, we are a diverse group and spread across the country. So to help small business requests in these economic times can be a little difficult and may actually mean thinking outside the square as the requests will only continue.

This situation can also arise with your customers and although it is well acknowledged that you need to focus on their problems, needs and desires, sometimes it is easer said than done. There can be many reasons for not following up on customers’ requests, for example your business just does not have the resources available to meet the requests.

However the worst thing you can do is ignore them as they will not go away. Sometimes looking at the situation with fresh eyes and applying a little lateral thinking could provide the solution your customers are looking for. Here are a few tips to help you with the process:

  • Keep a log of all the requests from your customers so you can see if there are any common threads
  • Involve your customers in a discussion as the original request may actually be an unmet need that you can meet
  • Involve your business partners to brainstorm solutions
  • If the requests can be met in the future then let them know and keep them updated
  • Look at different industries or companies as there may be an example that you can follow
  • If you are part of a social media group, ask for their input as today business all around the world learn from and help each other
  • You may not be able to deliver on the whole request; however you may be able to deliver on the most urgent part

Repeated requests from your customers will not go away if you just ignore them and it is how you work through them with your customers that will affect the relationships now and in the future.

How do you handle difficult requests that are not easily solved?

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Entry filed under: Customer Relationships. Tags: , , , , .

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