You know the ones--you can never please them, something is always wrong, you haven't followed their instructions to the letter. You forgot to cross a "t" or dot the "i." You dread their phone calls and e-mails. Your staff cringes when they have to interact with them. The air gets sucked out of the room when they are around. Not a good situation, and you know it.
On March 12, 2011, a man named Sergio Flores became famous overnight after posting a video of himself dressed in nothing but black leather pants, suspenders, a detachable mullet wig and sunglasses, all while playing the saxophone to unsuspecting patrons. I find Flores to be inspiring and, after getting to know him personally, think he has several business lessons to offer entrepreneurs.
From talking to other small business owners, I know most go well beyond the line of duty to keep their customers happy and that is exactly my point. Because of, or maybe despite the small size of our organizations, we, in our small businesses, do a lot of things instinctively right when it comes to customer service.
Filling up a leaky bucket is an expensive proposition. Ultimately, a customer-trust business is end to end. It's about your receptionist being helpful and open when s/he answers the phone. It's about not landing large accounts and then scrambling to find any warm bodies you can to put on the project.