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How I use CUSTOMER SERVICE to improve my business: – Deborah Hendrickson.

My Business Experience is a program organized on Kimpact Business School (KBS) WhatsApp page where entrepreneurs share both their positive and negative business experiences, for other entrepreneurs to learn and use them to solve their pressing challenges. Deborah Hendrickson, the former CEO of Wireless Mobile Communications, Inc. In Poukeepsie, NY, shared with us, her business experience. Read below the unedited discussion.

My name is Deborah Hendrickson, I’m not excellent at speaking well like many of you Kimpact Members, I’m a behind the scene person, sorry, so please bear with me.

I am an Entrepreneur of several businesses, & choose to speak on my Beeper & Cellular Company, Wireless Mobile Communications, Inc. In Poukeepsie, NY.  I had a store where I sold Beepers and were changing over to cellular phones, that was in 1996.

When I started Wireless Mobile, the first thing I did before opening the store where Beepers, Cellular phones & Accessories were sold was spy out the land, meaning, I did my research, I checked out my competitors, I went in and acted as if I was a customer so I can see what they did wrong so I wouldn’t make the same mistake(s). The first thing I experienced was BAD customer service, High prices and a cockiness about the Employees. That Beeper store was MY ONLY Competition.

When Wireless Mobile had our grand opening, it was a fan fare, we had balloons, food, fun & raffle (gave 1 year of Beeper Service). My staff & I were dressed professionally, we were courteous & was well knowledgeable of our products & service, which the people were impressed

The First thing was Marketing, Wireless Mobile sold our products $5 less than our competitor, our competitor monthly Beeper Service was $15 per month, Wireless Mobile’s monthly price was $7.  In 1 week, we had 500 customers. And grew fast thereafter. The way it worked back then, all Beeper companies had an account with all frequency air carriers, we were charged 85cents per month, per customer, so charging $7 was no problem, we weren’t being greedy ($15 per month)

Our accessory cost were 50cents, some, $1.00, so, whereas my competitor was selling accessories for $10-15, Wireless Mobile sold accessories for $7, we sold low, but had the masses with customers, imagine, I eventually had 10,000 customers. We grew fast, causing the competitor to reduce their prices to ours but Wireless Mobile continued to get the customers.

I would do a quick research & ask the customers how they heard about us & why did they choose to come to Wireless Mobile instead of the Competitor, ALL said, because it took for a new company to come in before they dropped their prices so they didn’t respect the competitor – that was interesting to know. Also, the competitor forced the customer to purchase a NEW BEEPER or cell phone due to frequency issues, Wireless Mobile didn’t do that. We purchased what u call cradles (to change the frequency of that unit) for every item we sold so when the new customer came in, we never had them purchase a new beeper or phone, we changed their unit to the desired frequency & only charged $5, which the customer paid with delight because now they didn’t have to purchase a new beeper or phone, that would have cost lots of money. Also, with only paying 85cents by the air carrier, we could charge senior citizens $3, imagine the savings from $15 (the competitor)

How we remained at the top is, I, the Owner would go in the community & talk with the people & find out how can Wireless Mobile better serve and give back to the community, that act caused a landslide of newer customers.

At holiday times we did special events, at thanksgiving, we gave out turkeys and you would thing that’s nothing, but, the people took it as a big deal. Also, when a customer couldn’t pay their bill (somewhere in the hospital, lost their jobs), I didn’t turn off their services; it never went past 1 month of non – payment so Wireless Mobile didn’t mind paying the 85cents. Once it got out how COMPASSIONATE we were & all we did for the community, our clients grew 150{445ee22631e1bbe6d3c0754e61726d918ce827249780509f888abae402b2db06}

Finally, something as simple as having a large jar at the store filled with all sorts of candy was a winner. Everyone would come in daily, even if they didn’t purchase a Beeper or cell phone, but did purchase an accessory. Wireless Mobile Communications, Inc was successful to the day I sold the business and moved to Virginia, where I opened and ran a Day Care center (60 children & 12 staff), grossing nearly 1 Million a year.

I was trained by New York State Self-employment class that was a 1 year class that taught all aspect of insuring having a successful business.  I graduated with my certificate and Wireless Mobile was my first business after graduating.  By having the Certificate, it allows me to bid on ANY Government Contracts, and being a Woman Minority.

I was taught in the Entrepreneur class to ALWAYS give back to my customers and community. it was grueling, but my successful businesses are proof that the course was vital

I have been responsible for assisting several entrepreneurs in the startup of their businesses and are still in business to this day and they are doing well. I check up on them from time to time. Being COMPASSIONATE by not shutting off their unit because they couldn’t pay, that impressed those customers.

Thank you.

Deborah Hendrickson resides in the United States of America.

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