Every business regardless of it’s industry, the products it sells, or services it offers needs one thing to stay operational… the consumer. Think about your favorite store or service provider. Why do you like them? Is it because of their outstanding customer service? When faced with a problem over a product or service, friendly and helpful customer service, long lasting and durable product, and the ease of life the service offers are all contributing factors that will make you go back again and again. These all have effects on things such as recommendations by satisfied customers to potential ones, as well as consumer loyalty. At that point, having the lowest price does not always have to be the driving force for a returning customer. If they feel as though the staff and service cares, it makes it easier for a customer to bite the bullet on the extra price. That being said, price does not influence consumers nearly as much as quality, and customer care. For example, let’s discuss furniture. Looking around your living room, you realize that the two decade old couches are different shades of the same color. Kids, family gatherings, birthday parties, pets and the beat downs of life in general have all taken their toll on every piece of furniture around. It’s time for an upgrade. Taking note of the Ashley Manufacturing, the first decision to make is to get the same set again. How long did it last? When something needed to be repaired or replaced, was it a hassle to do so? Did it even have to be repaired or replaced? How did the representative present themselves on the phone? None of these questions had anything to do with price. Even during the economic issues we are currently facing, when looking at a major purchase the biggest concern is quality. Do you trust the product? Do you trust the person you are buying it from? Be it positive or negative, this is called a business relationship. That relationship between a business and its consumers will dictate the success or failure every single time. Regardless of what you sell or the service you provide, without a strong relationship to your consumers, it won’t take very long to sink. When a consumer knows a company cares about what they want or need whether it is by simply listening to a suggestion he made, or going out of your way to rectify a situation where she thought she was treated unfairly, then they will come back every time. Chances are they will come back even if your price is a little higher than your competitor. No product, service, or business is ever to big for any customer. No business owner, or member of your staff should ever have a bad day that bleeds into a customer interaction. When people are unhappy with a product, or a service, it is usually because they feel they were treated unfairly, and no one cared enough to listen to their problem. If you read reviews for any product online, there is on clear message from every bad review: the consumer didn’t feel like the company representative really listened to their problem. Sometimes there really is nothing you can do to help, but even if the product you sell is a piece of crap, you can still keep customers coming back to your store as long as you take the time to build business relationships.