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May 16

Trusting Customers

Posted by: Steve Marr

Tagged in: Untagged 

President Reagan had a slogan, “Trust, but verify.” This is sound advice when dealing with customers.  Businesses may seem to treat customers as guilty until proved innocent. This doesn’t build good relationships.

I ordered a $14.95 e-book from a website. The seller accepted only PayPal, which, in my view, was a mistake. Some customers want to bypass PayPal, but with this site; you could not.  I placed my order and received a message that the link to the book would be sent after my payment cleared. PayPal takes up to five days to process.  The seller was so worried that a customer like me might cheat him out of $14.95 so he held up the order.

Most folks order e-resources for immediate access.  The message that his process communicated to me was, “I am so afraid you will cheat me out of $14.95 that I will hold your order until payment is confirmed.” Delivering the order cost him nothing.  This is a trait of a small businessman.

I don’t have a problem with payments for similar resources from my website.  If a payment falls through, we just move on. Such is life.

Another time I ordered some equipment. The seller wanted 100% payment in advance with a promised 6-week delivery.  After about 6 weeks the order failed to arrive.  At the same time I decided to add one more item costing around $100. The seller demanded payment before he would place the order. I explained that I paid him for most of the order, and he did not deliver on time.  Now he insisted on another advance payment. He responded by saying, “that way we don’t risk nonpayment.” I wrote the check but this was my last transaction with the guy.

We need to be prudent when extending credit.  King Solomon wrote, “The naïve believes everything, but the prudent considers his steps.” (Proverbs 14:15, NASB) My father was fond of saying, “In God we trust; all others pay cash.”  We need to balance trust with prudence. That’s why we run credit checks and ask for credit applications.

Keep a reasonable balance in your business to strengthen your customer relationships. 

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