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Fuel for Thought

Are You A Good Customer?

By Greg Huggins
Posted Aug 15th 2019 9:52PM

As a small business owner, who you know can be very important to your success. Equally important is who you do business with. Owner operators make revenue and expense decisions daily. These decisions can be based on many factors. Small spending decisions are a daily occurrence and might only require a minimum amount of thought, but for larger purchases, research can be vital to having a successful outcome.

Deciding to buy new equipment is a major decision. If you make the wrong choices it can be detrimental to your bottom line. Not only do you have to decide what to buy but also who deserves your business. When it comes to truck purchases, there are thousands of places to get a truck, new or used. But is the purchase the end of the business relationship? Finding a reputable dealer who will be there after the sale can be priceless. If you have an issue with your major purchase, you want a reliable, helpful dealer there to assist you. You may find a cheaper, “fly by night” dealer, but did you really save anything if they are not there for you in the future?

Service after the sale is equally as important as prior to the purchase. This is not only true for major purchases, but also recurring expenses. 

If you plan to stay in business for a long time, building solid relationships with your suppliers (equipment dealers, accountant(s), insurance agent(s), mechanic(s), tire shop(s), and most importantly your customers) can be beneficial to all parties involved. 

When you give your customer(s) the best service, you expect to build on that success and keep them as a long term customer. That is great for generating revenue, but are you also being a great customer to your suppliers? Income is the backbone of your business, so you may treat your regular customers a little better than others, maybe even give them priority over others, as you should. Expenses are the enemy of income, so when you are the customer, do you bounce from one lowest priced option to another each time? Wouldn’t it be great if you could get treated as a customer the same as you treat yours? 

We take time to build customer relations to generate our income, but many do not reciprocate to their own suppliers when they are the customer. 

Your equipment dealer, accountant, mechanic, insurance agent, tire shop, etc., would like to have you as a long time customer for their business if they are a reputable business in it for the long haul, and if you become one, you just might see some perks headed your way, just as you do for your regular customers. Perhaps you can find these products or services a little cheaper if you shop around each time, but the value and perks of a long time customer can be priceless. 

I have been fortunate over the years to find great suppliers who care about customer service before, during and after the sale is final. 


See you down the road,

Greg

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