train-your-customerCan your customers be trained to use your business as their first choice? You bet they can. But you need to help them.
My mechanic has me trained. When I take my car in for an oil change, he places a sticker in the upper left hand corner of my windshield to remind me what date and mileage I should have my next maintenance completed. But every once in a while, he forgets to put the sticker on the window.
Then I have to remember the date and mileage details. It's a good thing to train your customers and it can help you pump up your bottom line. But if you choose that route, it's important to follow through.
Because my mechanic occasionally forgets the oil change sticker, he shifts the burden of that "perk" to me. That's a burden I don't want to bear. On top of that, it could cut into his business if I delay the maintenance because I've forgotten when the car is due. And if he forgets stickers on several cars. well, you get the idea.
Training your customer when and how to do business with you helps both them and you. But make sure you have a mechanism to help you follow through. Unmet expectations have a way of driving business to your competition.
Small Business Expert Denise O'Berry is the author of "Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business a Financial Success" a book about how to get, manage and keep your cash flow on an even keel and where it belongs - in your business. She provides small business tools, tips and advice to small business owners around the world on her blog at http://www.deniseoberry.com. Find Denise on twitter at @deniseoberry.