View Full Version : What makes you use a company time and again?

03-01-2009, 10:46 PM
Okay, my colleague and I are meeting tomorrow. We have a client base, and are trying to think of ways to encourage referrals and grow the business.

It's computer service and repair.

If it were you, what kind of offer would appeal to you? eg, for each referral that books a call with us, you get $5.00 off your next service call and your referral person gets $10.00 off?

Even if it's not specifically computers, why do you stay with the company you do?

Are mistakes okay, depending on how they are handled by the company?

Your two cents, please! Or a few dollars. :D


03-01-2009, 11:37 PM
For me, it's value. If someone will go an extra mile for no charge, I'm likely to stay with the company, and probably pay for the same service the next time. I also always shop around for the best "bang for the buck."

I'm not sure about the "refer a friend" unless the coupon doesn't expire, etc. What is the point of getting $5 dollars off for referring a friend, when the coupon is for the service you've just had done? So unless it always applies to the next service, they are not an incentive for me. What about a coupon that applies to every new client? Or enter a draw to get a free mp3 player or something just by using the service, or for every referral?

03-02-2009, 12:09 AM
If you're good at what you do your business will advertise itself, if you stuff things up news will travel faster than if you do a good job.

03-02-2009, 05:35 AM
If a company/person is prompt in returning my call, that means a lot to me. Consistency in fees is also important. If I'm a victim of bait and switch, I take it seriously. Of course, a deep discount on the first visit is appreciated but tell me from the beginning what the rates are because for repeat business, if I'm told "Well, that's because you were new. I can't give you rates like that every time", it makes me suspicious. However, no matter how low the price, if the service/product is inferior, I won't use them again. Hope this helps, Candace. Much success and prosperity to you......:)

03-02-2009, 07:01 AM
I always buy from people. You can get the same product from many different places, and varying prices on that same item, but its the people with whom I'm dealing that make me return to that company. Their service is key. If they mess up, its ok, just be honest with me about your mistake and act quickly to rectify it.

Right now, in my business, its a mean, nasty world. Customers are shopping harder than ever and looking for the ultimate best deal. My prices are almost always higher because I'm selling a more expensive product. In these economic times, people aren't necessarily considering that my product is better quality, they're seeing the bottom price line. I typically have a strong sales rate because I am honest and I don't call or harass them to make a decision unlike my competitors (or coworkers). I had a customer yesterday come back solely because I was the only one who didn't call her a hundred times. She admitted my prices were higher and the financing terms not as generous, but she came back because of me. I knew she didn't want me to call, so I respected that. Many others actually want me to keep in contact, so I do that. The thing is to find out what they want and fulfill that need.

finn's mom
03-02-2009, 07:08 AM
Good customer service. Pride. David and I both drive 45 minutes to get our oil changed. He's been going to the same place for about 7 years now and we don't go anywhere else unless we absolutely have to. The guys there are good to us, kind and prompt. They have a clean restroom and a comfortable waiting area. Their price is decent, although I can definitely get it done cheaper.

I have been going to the same vet (sometimes driving an hour just to buy heartworm preventative) for 13 or so years. Not only is she great with my pets, she's straightforward and intelligent. I have only heard a few times of a vet that continues to go to school to learn more about the trade. She educates herself constantly and is always striving to improve her practice. She does rescue work as well.

I almost exclusively buy my produce from where I work, Sprouts Farmers Market. It's rare that you find inexpensive and good quality. And, even before I started working there, the customer service was outstanding.

An instance of what would make me NOT return to a business. David and I went to a local hospital to see what it was like and check it out as a possible delivery place for our baby. We wandered around aimlessly for about thirty minutes trying to find someone to tell us where the women's center was. We never did receive any help. I wouldn't go to that hospital unless i was taken there in an ambulance for an emergency.

03-02-2009, 07:35 AM
Customer service is very important to many people. When I was still working I worked as an account specialist/customer service rep for a large manufacturing company. Our prices definitely weren't on the low side, and when many clients started buying imported items, it was more important than ever to provide top notch service to those who chose to continue to do business with us. Many of my accounts stayed faithful to us because they knew I would go above and beyond, and even "bend the rule" for them, just to get the job done. Once you have gained someone's trust and confidence, they will usually stay with you. And never try to bluff your way out of a negative situation - it will come back to bite you. Admit there has been a mistake, and then rectify it immediately, if not sooner! Never push it aside with the attitude that "I'll work on it when I have time - I have other clients/matters to attend to first". A sure way to lose a customer is to sweep THEIR problem under the rug!

Suki Wingy
03-02-2009, 08:29 AM
Quality. No matter what, if the service they offer is thorough and well done, I will probably go back. Same with products. If it lasts and does what it's advertised to do I'll probably go back to that company. Common sense.

03-02-2009, 10:48 AM
I personally would not be encourage to refer a person based on a referral fee or discount on my next service. I refer people to a product or service based on how good the product or service is.

When i call for service I hate talking to a computer or playing musical
numbers with a phone tree. Try to give your customer some direct access.

If you have a problem admit it, do not try to blow smoke. I fought with
ATT for months over a DSL that would go out every time it rained. It
was never their problem. They blamed my OLD (14 year) house wiring.
It wasn't wired with the latest cat 3 /5 wire. I'm an engineer and knew
the wire had nothing to do with it going out when it rained. I rewired
my house because they said it did not meet there current standards.
Changing the wire made no difference. The problem was finally resolved when the rain only problem became an all the time problem. They found a broken cable more than a half mile from my house.

If you give a good honest service and do everything in your power to
please the customer the word will get around. Give bad service that
will also get around. If you make a mistake, admit it , do not try to blow smoke to cover it up. Just like politics, it isn't the mistake that gets you it's the cover up.

Edwina's Secretary
03-02-2009, 11:23 AM
On the subject of referral discounts...I am not likely to use them. But I do refer vendors if I am happy with the product/service. I'm not looking for a price break. But a very sincere thanks for the referral would be very effective with me!

03-02-2009, 11:51 AM
I think it has to do with "the match" in needs and personalities. I like a certain style of service and if I find that match, I stick with them/the company. If the style changes, I move on to another company.

My usual needs are:

A human answering the phone

Scheduling that makes sense, based on need, not just when you called

Effective problem solving

Fair and flexible people to work with.....

__________________________________________________ ______

Having been in retail now for oh, four or five months, I can see that I clash with certain (usually really stupid) people. I respond to being treated nicely and with respect.

When it comes to being on the receiving side of service, I try to be as polite as possible. I sometimes fail at it, but often bounce back to being nice.

I prefer small businesses to large businesses. I try to stay away from the huge companies....but sometimes have to deal with them.

I think you will attract and KEEP customers most suited to your personalities, if you act naturally and keep them informed of your methods of service. If it is a match, then fine. If you have someone looking for value only, then maybe you won't be able to keep them as a customer.

For example: I have a plumber that comes in my home to do work after my calling him with the problem. We never meet - I leave the door open, he does the work, leaves me a bill, I pay it. I trust him - and have had to have him come back to re-do a thing or two, but I trust him and his abilities. I am a no nonsense type of person. I do not comparison shop for plumbers but some folks would and do.

Its like dating....... if it's a good match, then consider yourself lucky!

03-02-2009, 01:29 PM
I want to talk to a person when I call, not a machine. I have bypassed many service companies that only have an answering machine or voice mail.

If it is an in-house service, show up when expected. At the very least, call if something comes up.

Do the best job possible. Explain without treating me like I'm totally stupid.

Like anyone else, I'd love to get a discount. But I'd rather pay a little more for good service. I'd stick with a company that respects my needs.

Killearn Kitties
03-02-2009, 03:31 PM
I would not give a friend's contact details to any company because they gave me a discount. I would pass on the details of firms who had given me a good, cost-effective service to my friends.

Obviously I will take the service for the lowest price they can offer, but I would not put price above service. I don't think there are any short cuts to growing a client base. If you want my money, I expect you to do what you say you will do, I expect decent communication - if you can't be here when you said you would be, let me know.

So far as mistakes go, everybody makes them. Deal with me honestly and I will treat you the same way.

03-02-2009, 04:01 PM
I like when they have rewards systems in place, like buy one get one free, or buy so many get a free product, of course that does not really apply to a computer business, but what you suggested,rewarding them for their custom, sounds good to me.

Of course good service, politeness and a good job done, will always make me go back to that company.when a company goes that extra mile for me also makes me want to deal with them again.

Cost does come into it for me, so value for money as well.

Suki Wingy
03-02-2009, 06:33 PM
I actually prefer no live person on the phone.

03-02-2009, 07:29 PM
I'm with Finn's mom - Really good customer service does it for me. Example: Von Maur (a Midwest department store) - I shop there over and over, even though their prices are not the lowest, because their customer service is impeccable. I also like Trader Joe's for produce because the quality is so much better than the supermarket, and the prices are too. Plus, it's just a fun environment to shop in with the staff wearing Hawaiian shirts and ringing the bell.

I'd probably misplace a coupon I received as the result of a "refer a friend" program in my too-cluttered house. :rolleyes: But if you have a second to send me a "thank you for the referral" postcard, I'd be really happy that someone had taken time to acknowledge that.

03-02-2009, 08:15 PM
For any company I freaquent, customer service will bring me back everytime even if the prices are higher.

03-03-2009, 05:12 PM
Things I like in a business:

Knows my name when I come in
Remembers my issue from a phone convo and saves time of me having to re-explain it
Is sometimes willing to stay just a bit after closing time because of my work schedule, so I can drop off things or for quick questions
Saturday hours into the evening or even some Sunday hours:)

(any business)
A human that speaks good English answering the pones:D
A human that makes a point of trying to understand what you're having a problem with
Not being put on hold for long periods of time, instead will call you back if it's gonna take awhile, and does call back.
Having an extension number or something so I can deal with the same person each time for the issue
24/7 customer support by phone:D
Going out of the way to help or make things easier for you when possible.
Good prices with good customer service to go with it.
Friendly, well informed staff.:D
Being able to admit 'I don't know, but I can find out the right answer for you'.
Honesty with the charges/billing from the beginning.

Things I highly dislike in any business:

Push ____ for this department, push ___ for that department (none of which ever seem to address my problem).:mad:
Getting a customer support person that speaks too slow, too fast, or with a heavy accent (even an English dialect) that I cannot understand what they are saying.:mad:
PASSWORDS (a big pet peeve of mine since I can never remember all of them)
Having to explain the same problem to several people before getting transferred to the one that can actually help.
Being put on hold for 10 minutes or more
Crappy hold music that is so full of static you can't hear it, or is nothing but one long informertial interrupted every so often by a recording of 'your call is important to us please stay on the line'. :mad:
Customer support that just cannont seem to understand what you are trying to explain to them because it wasn't one of the common problems on their flow chart.:mad:
Errors in billing that they won't take care of immediately, instead make you wait until the next billing cycle (too me 3 months going around with the cable company on this one before it was corrected):mad:
Customer service people that no matter what your complaint is never says 'I'm sorry' they simply repeat constantly 'I understand'. (trust me they never understand $#@*!):rolleyes:
Finding out that the person you talked to that said there was no charge to change a service, lied to you and there is a charge, then you get the priviledge of dealing with 5 different people fighting with them to understand that you were told it was no charge by the first person.
Lack of communication within a company (right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing)