Attitude is contagious and if you want to know the attitude of management in any business you don’t have to meet them, just talk to their staff. I recently asked salespeople to fill in a questionnaire about their features and prices. Out of 5, 3 agreed 1 returned it right away, 2 after some back and forth and the other 2 flatly refused to fill it out. The two that refused have a lot in common as to their specialty and location and I will not have any more to do with them. I depend upon salespeople for follow up on after sales service and help when I am having issues. I have dealt with many salespeople and the ones that will help after the sale are the ones I deal with ongoing.
Ever walk into a store and just get the feeling that you are interfering with someone’s day and they are just too busy to bother with you? That attitude in all likelihood has filtered down from the store manager into the staff. If a customer has a complaint does (he/she) roll his/her eyes then sigh and go to see the customer? The staff notices and they will have the same attitude towards their customers. If a customer feels you want their business and want to do your best to solve their challenge they will become your customer and probably refer others. When you approach a customer with a problem smile and expect to be able to help them you will find that 99% of customers are reasonable and truly feel they are in the right, it just doesn’t make sense to insult 99% to make sure 1% doesn’t take advantage of you.
I worked for a large department store chain in my early career. If a complaint got to head office we knew they were going to take the customer’s side and we would be forced to satisfy the customer. I remember a customer we knew was stealing small appliances then bringing them back for a refund, we decided to refuse the refund (no receipt of course). He called head office and we were forced to give him a refund (we later caught him stealing and he was charged). The point head office was making was don’t insult 99% of your customers to weed out the 1% of bad apples. Business owners and managers attitude can be the difference between success and failure of a business.