Posts Tagged ‘friends’
I have a number of customers; some are new customers and we are just starting to do business together, and some are customers I have had for many years. But there is one thing in common for all of my customers. NONE of them are my friends.
It’s something I sometimes struggle to remember. It’s very easy to treat them as friends because we know each other so well, spend so much time together and even do trips together where we share meals and drinks at night. But, they are not friends. At the end of the day, they are customers, and there are many good reasons for remembering to treat them as such:
- Friends you joke around with, but customers deserve respect and professionalism. At all times
- Friendship leads to familiarity, familiarity leads to contempt, and contempt leads to ex-customers
- It is much harder to negotiate terms, rates and situations with friends
- Friends can ask for favours – customers can’t (well they can, but it’s harder)
- With friends you share secrets – you may bad mouth people, but in front of customers every previous project, customer and even competitor deserves respect. Otherwise, what will they think you are saying about them?
- Friends can call you up at weekends – customers can also call you, but they get charged 7day support for doing so
- Customers pay you, friends don’t
I am not saying that you have to be stand-off-ish. You can be friendly, courteous, and can even share a joke over a drink. But at the end of the day, your customers are just that – customers – and should be treated as such.