Archives for September 2010

Simple AND Easy: Acknowledge your Customers

Much of what I write about (and work with my clients on) comes under the heading of “Simple, Not Easy.” Some things, however, are Simple AND Easy. Acknowledging people is one of those things.
I went into a store the other day and stood waiting at the counter to get some information. The clerk was talking to a customer and there was another couple ahead of me also waiting to be helped. The time dragged on and on and the clerk never seemed to even notice me or the other couple (we were all standing within 6 feet of the counter and there was no one else in the store). I became increasingly frustrated yet I stuck around fascinated to see if he would ever make any effort to simply acknowledge our presence.
What would it have taken? Looking up and making some eye contact? A nod? Maybe a quick break from his conversation to say “I’ll be with you shortly” or perhaps a quick phone call for help from his fellow employees (who were most likely hanging out somewhere in the back room)? It seems so incredibly basic – such common sense – and it would have changed the whole experience.
At some level, all business is personal and as ‘persons’ we want to be acknowledged. Unfortunately, it seems that this lack of acknowledgement is becoming more common across the board. How many times have you sent an email or left a voice mail for someone with whom you have an association or do business with only to be ignored for days or weeks or forever? You have to call/email again (if you even bother). Are you going to go out of your way to buy from or refer that person? I’m not.
If you make your living by providing products and services to others it is common sense not to ignore those of us who have the potential to buy or refer or talk (or blog) about you. It’s even worse if we are already customers!
Even if we can’t get what we are looking for right away, we at least want to be acknowledged. It doesn’t take much to satisfy that want. It should be a consistent process you follow or it should be delegated in such a way that it is still personal.
Acknowledgement; It is such a simple and easy thing to do. It boggles my mind that so many people/businesses don’t do it.