You are currently viewing The trick to staying open is good customer service |  News, Sports, Jobs

The trick to staying open is good customer service | News, Sports, Jobs

Dear Héloïse: I just read your column about poor customer service – so sad but so true! After 40 years in sales and marketing for a large chemical company, I now teach a course for aspiring entrepreneurs. As you may know, 95% of all new businesses fail within the first five years, and the number one reason they fail is poor service. New business owners are all excited about growing their business and doing a lot of things right at first, but then they start the slow decline, forgetting what made them successful for the first four years. No one really wants to talk to customers anymore!

I tell people in my classes, if you want to stand out from your competition, just provide better customer service. Customers will forgive an egg that wasn’t cooked properly, but they’ll always remember the owner or manager who ignored their complaint. Keep up the good work. —Ken, D., via email


Dear Héloïse: I have just figured out how to remove wax residue from candles sold in glass containers. I pour boiling water into a Pyrex type bowl then I put the candle in the water. After a few minutes, the wax peels off. Then I carefully remove the wax and wipe the inside of the container with paper towels while it’s still warm until all the residual wax is gone. So ! You now have a small vase, votive holder, or container for something else. I put it in the dishwasher to remove the residual traces of wax. —Diana Craft, Dallas


Dear Héloïse: Someone recently reported that she used the plastic bag her diary came in to pick up her dog’s tracks. I pushed the idea a little further. I don’t have a dog, but a friend does. I save my plastic bags from newspaper deliveries and put them in an empty tissue box. When it’s full, I give it to my friend. So I now recycle plastic bags and my boxes of tissues. — Vicki M., Fort Wayne, Indiana


Dear Héloïse: A few months ago, I noticed that two outdoor chairs I had purchased (with a small table) arrived unwoven. I couldn’t remember how old they were, but since they were barely used, I figured they must still look brand new. I ended up phoning the supplier online, and they directed me to the manufacturer. I was surprised to learn that they had a “Out of Warranty” department! I emailed them and sent pictures of the chairs. In no time I received two new chairs and was treated like royalty. I wonder how many retailers will repair their merchandise after the warranty expires? It’s worth trying. —Nancy, The Villages, Florida


Dear Héloïse: A woman recently wrote about adding information to photos, such as names, dates, places, etc., for her family. Please add last names, if possible. My husband has several family members with similar names, such as Thérèse/Thérèse, Marie/Mary, or duplicate first names. They even look alike! Last names can help tell who is who, and middle initials are great too! The more information, the better! Thank you for all of your wonderful advice over the years! — J. LaPlante, via email.

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Héloïse’s advice is sometimes published in Lifestyles. Readers can send a hint to Heloise, PO Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Letters will not receive a personal response.

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