Business friends are different
From Cathy's ebook: Delight
your customers and the money will follow
Like many net junkies, I tend to sign up in haste and unsubscribe
at leisure. Most sites make it easy -- except for an ezine
I'll call "Hal's Place."
Unsubscribing from Hal required waiting through two long
downloads and evoking memories of long-forgotten passwords.
When I complained, the webmaster replied, "You're the
one who chose to subscribe. Please don't be hard on me."
Huh? Hal doesn't get it. Who's the customer here? Is this
site doing me a favor by allowing me to subscribe? And why
shouldn't I be hard on him? He's not protecting his customers.
Customer friendship is different. When we dine with personal
friends, we don't send food back or complain about slow service.
They forgot to defrost the main course? An extra hour? No
big deal. After all, friends don't charge us for our meal
or put us on mailing lists.
"Gwen" ran a free one-hour teleclass like this
disorganized dinner host. Gwen spent the first ten minutes
taking attendance, then twenty minutes asking us to describe
our greatest barriers to success.
We were gaining momentum, if not wisdom, when Gwen interrupted
to ask if anyone had joined the call late. Finally we got
down to the promised benefit of the class: a new way to market
It turned out that we would not learn an actual marketing
technique. We would learn the preliminary exercise, which
involved some kind of introspection about our goals and beliefs.
That lasted fifteen minutes. Gwen used the last ten minutes
to market her four-hundred-dollar program.
When I e-mailed my annoyance, Gwen wrote back: "I am
very sensitive to the way people give me feedback. Were you
trying to help me or just vent?"
Gwen doesn't get it either.
As e-preneurs, we are not offering ezines and free classes
because we want to make new friends. Our visitors are potential
customers who know we have something to sell.
Complainers help us out. For every visitor who lets us know
(tactfully or otherwise) that we've made a mistake, fifty
people will disappear silently or, worse, share their negative
opinion with others.
I treasure the visitor who angrily pointed out a contradiction
in one of my offers. I absolutely love the reader who wrote
me a nasty email when one of my email addresses died: I had
inadvertently killed an alias when changing a pop mail setting.
Who knows how many people just left my site in disgust?
I thanked these complainers and offered them any ebook they
When you're an e-preneur, these people are your real customer
friends. They deserve a virtual hug -- or at least a free
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.