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Thread: customers and quotes

  1. #1
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    Oct 2007
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    customers and quotes

    when you are too you tell the customer you are too busy to do their work...or do you just not respond...or do you load the bill hoping that you dont get the work?

    i know what the correct answer is easier said than done.

    employ more staff? ...then you have a whole lot of new issues to deal with.
    use sub contractors? ...chances are they make a mess then you loose the customer and get and get a bad name or they try pouch the customer
    just dont respond? ...but if a reguler customer then it gets tricky.
    load the price? ...then the customer finds someone cheaper...but chances ar eyou might ge tthe customer back once they have reliased you get what you pay for.

    the list goes on...i am at this stage again...too much work and tooo little time to do it all

  2. #2
    Silver Member KimH's Avatar
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    I was faced with this situation late last year - I opted for the hiring of a freelance bookkeeper to help on a part time basis.

    She was tasked with doing a 3 year write up for one of my clients, I soon realised that she was very slow (when you are billing a client by the hour, you need to work at a reasonable speed), her accuracy was also far from satisfactory. I ended up taking back the project to finish otherwise my client would have been presented with an expensive mess. I then tasked her with going to an onsite client once a week to do simple cash book data entry - the client called and asked that she no longer come as she had a bad attitude and the quality of work was poor. Much calming down of the client later, I terminated her freelance agreement.

    This was a woman with a degree, in her 40's with her own business - eish! Never ever again!

    I schedule my work two weeks in advance and if I do get a new referral or client, I quote and let them know that I can only do their work two weeks or so later.

    I guess that it's easier to do this in an accounting business than yours though Murdock...
    "If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother told you."

  3. #3
    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    It has been my experience that If am not interested in the work or it is not worth my time to do I will simply give them the number of someone that I know is interested. There is no use in accommodating customers that you simply cannot get to and give your 100% But that I think you know…

    When I am overloaded I will simply tell my customers "sorry but I am fully booked would you be willing to schedule a time later on or can I provide you with a few numbers of other companies that do the work?

    I then remind them that I don't know how good or how bad the other companies are but I do know they do the same work.

    That is the end of it…

    Being greedy never works… Rather lose that 1 customer and keep the 50 you can handle happy then drop all 50 just to keep the 1 happy.
    Anger isnít a substitute it is a way of life.
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    BusFact (31-Jan-12)

  5. #4
    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    I have found that being honest with clients is the most important thing in business. Also that networking and building of relationships work. Not all competitors are threats and it is possible to refer business to someone in the same industry rather than lose the customer.

    Scenario; Your Bed & Breakfast is full. You apologise to the customer and advise who may be able to assist and give directions/website/telephone number. Call competitor and arrange to accommodate customer. Call customer to confirm arrangement and invite to make an earlier booking to ensure that they will find accommodation with you on their next visit.

    The competitor now has someone who she can refer her overruns to and the customer will mention your name when service is discussed. Win/win!

    It is of course important that you check the credentials of the competitor and check that the customer did in deed receive good service. If you are say an electrician or plumber, check out the standard of work and reputation of the person you refer business to.

    You should also reciprocate by delivering the best service possible as to not embarrass the person referring business to you and to gain a possible customer.
    Only chickens achieve something while sitting still...

  6. Thanks given for this post:

    BusFact (31-Jan-12)

  7. #5
    Bronze Member
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    I agree with you Blurock. Being honest and saying no is the best way. I think just ignoring customer queries are very rude and hate it when I am on the receiving end. Loading the quote may mean that you get a name as someone "expensive" and over time this may work against you.

    I am in exactly that boat right now. I got a huge order that was due for delivery mid-Jan. I have not had a break in a very long time as I worked right through December. I promised myself I am going to say no next time. Well, they contacted me again and I just couldn't say no. Our quiet time is Feb to Apr and I am worried that if I don't take it I may regret it then. I have given a lot of thought about how big I want to get and the additional staff does not appeal to me.

    The upside is that I have some cash lying around to do things like getting my website fixed.
    Sometimes the only transport available is a leap of faith

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