Three Mistakes Vendors Make with Their Clients and Customers

Dr. Linda Hancock


Dr. Hancock has written a regular weekly column entitled “All Psyched Up” for newspapers in two Canadian provinces for more than a dozen years. Over the years, her readers and clients have said that they have benefited from her common-sense solutions, wisdom, and sense of humour. Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email


March 15 2009

All Psyched Up. | | Three Mistakes Vendors Make with Their Clients and Customers | by Dr. Linda Hancock | Published March 15 2009 | Revised June 26 2022

© 2022, Dr. Linda Hancock INC.

Frequently I hear individuals complain about places where they have gone for goods or services but were disappointed.  In fact, they often state "I will never go there again".  The complaints that they have all seem to fall into one of three categories.  This article describes the three mistakes that upset clients and customers:

  1. The client did not feel "heard"

Have you ever gone to a hairstylist and left the shop upset because you did not get what you wanted?  It is very important that the person who is providing a service or product understands very clearly what the customer wants.  Trying to talk them into something that they do not want or will not use only leads to frustration for the client and may, in fact, have a very negative future for your business because word of mouth is far more powerful than anything.

If you are interested in ensuring that your client is satisfied, you need to ask good questions and then match what you have to offer with the need.  If you cannot supply the product or service, a referral can be greatly appreciated by the client, especially if you go out of your way to call to other supplies to gather information for the client.

  1. The client did not feel the products or services were timely and of good quality

Service goes beyond handing an item to a customer and taking their money.  It involves knowing your product well enough to discuss the strengths and weaknesses, making solid recommendations regarding options available, providing education regarding how an item should be used, and describing any warranty or guarantees.  We all want to think that our money has purchased a quality product, but, if there is a problem, customer service can go a long way towards ensuring that your relationship with the client is not damaged. 

One sale is not as important as having one good customer for a lifetime.  Recently my car was in the body shop and I was unable to find a rental car in our city.  The car dealer immediately arranged for me to drive one of their vehicles.  Now that's good customer service!

  1. The client did not feel "valued"

When a customer feels like they were ignored, treated rudely or contacted only because they have money, they will likely look for another place to shop.  On the other hand, when someone shows special interest in them, they will likely tell all their friends and family to deal with you.

Recently, I took my daughter's family out for dinner and the server described the options we had for ordering our salad.  She then kindly told me which one she thought that I would prefer.  My ten-year-old grandson was extremely impressed and said to his mother "They know grandma better than she knows herself!"  Now that is personal service!

I know individuals who will go out of their way to deal with someone because that person makes them feel "special". 

I remember speaking with some men who were training to be bus drivers.  My advice to them was "Treat everyone like you would like your mother to be treated and you will always do well".

The above three mistakes are a reminder that if you want to do well in business, it is important that you consider your clients as people and not just as transactions.  The bottom line is that it's all about relationship.

All Psyched Up. | | Three Mistakes Vendors Make with Their Clients and Customers | by Dr. Linda Hancock | Published March 15 2009 | Revised June 26 2022

© 2022, Dr. Linda Hancock INC.