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To Fraternize with Customers or Not, That Is The Q

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  • To Fraternize with Customers or Not, That Is The Q

    I’ve been saying for quite some time that it’s vitally important to work to develop a relationship with your customers. However, I’ve also heard comments from successful business owners that they’ve actually think it’s a bad idea to get ‘too close’ to your customers. Their reasoning is that it can cause your customers to expect too many ‘favors’ or that it makes it difficult to maintain a vendor/customer relationship.

    What’s your take on this subject?

  • #2
    Absolutely. It is a double edged sword.

    Mark Twain once said "Familiarity breeds contempt."

    That is a very good point to bring up. It seems there is a cycle businesses go through. When they get started they are all about being there 24/7 to do everything that needs to be done. Then they find it is wearing them out. If they don't scale it back a bit, they get burned out and either close shop or become the grumpy/angry business owner.

    Part of what wears them out is the requests for additional services and time a more familiar customer will try to leverage from the business owner.

    I remember once being in a pizzeria and a customer ahead of me was talking about how close he was to the owner. He had been coming to his store for years he said. Then it got kind of dark as he said "you know that 'son of a .........' never once offered to give me anything for free."

    ? ? ? ? ? ?

    So by that logic, if you go to a pizzeria enough, you should demand free food?
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