Whether you work in a medical office or a grocery store, if the business’ main purpose is to provide service or products to people then you have customers.

Customer service is what can make the difference in whether people come to your place of business or another who offers the same service. Having a choice is great especially if the service is bad, as in my Kinko’s story.

A few years ago I needed to have thousands of copies made for a conference I was overseeing.  The Kinko’s was just down the street from my office so it was very convenient for me.

I went to Kinko’s on my lunch hour with originals of handouts that I needed reproduced.  I told the young man at the counter what I needed and he looked over some of the copies I handed him.  He told me that the pictures on the handouts would look better if I uploaded them to their website and place my order that way.

I thanked him for his concern and told him that it would be just fine if he copied them, as I had done this before.  He again told me that I should upload them for a better quality.

We went back and forth over this a few times then I finally said “Are you going to print these for me or not?”  He pushed the copies back at me and wrote a web address down and told me to go back and upload them.

I was shocked.  I had over a thousand dollars in printing to be done and this clerk was turning the job away for his company.  I went back to work and told my co-workers the story, no one could believe it.  When I went to the website he gave me it was Kinko’s, but in a foreign language.

I promptly called Kinko’s and spoke to the manager.  I told him of my experience and he said that he had some complaints about this clerk before (apparently there was no discipline or further training involved).  I then told him that I lecture all over the country on customer service and every chance I get I will tell this story of poor service by Kinko’s as an example of how to lose customers for your business. I have never used Kinko’s since and have told the story many times.

Customers have needs that they expect to be met when they patronize a business.  If you want to win their loyalty it is necessary to understand what it is that they are looking for and be able to provide it at the highest level on a continual basis.

I found article below while reading the Small Businesses of America Blog.  The title of the article is “6 Secret Customer Needs.”  The article reveals recent information on the desires of customers and what they are really looking for when they come into your place of business.

Discussing the 6 secrets would be a great topic for your next team meeting.  Businesses need to make sure that they do not have employees that would cause them to lose customers

6 Secret Customer Needs