Looking at the supply chain and analyzing the relationship between vendor and retailer or retailer and customer, we can assume most retailers believe their customers deserve the best service and treatment they are capable of giving them–and that they should receive that same treatment from their suppliers.
I cannot agree more, but I also think wedding businesses deserve reciprocal respect from customers. For example, when a bride and groom purchases invitations from a retailer, the retailer may have spent hours with the customer, listening to and guiding them towards a usually difficult decision. The wedding professional has given the customer their most precious commodity: time, along with not charging the customer extra money, no matter how long it takes to complete the process (changes, additional meetings etc.). After analysis one can discover that some orders are not so profitable because of the amount of time spent completing it. Perhaps the retailer, then, deserves gratitude and respect.
During my years with Encore Studios and the thousands of dialogs I have had with dealers, I can count on one hand how many times I did not feel respected. Even in problematic situations where customer service was unable to resolve the issue, dealers always spoke respectfully to me. I like to think this is due to the respect I give others in every situation, along with the knowledge and experience I bring to the conversation.
However, in some dialogs with customer service during the heat of a problem with an order or other situations, it seems some dealers overlooked the importance of establishing a good relationship with their suppliers. You may deal one time with a retail customer, but the customer service departments of your suppliers play a vital role in perpetuating your business. They provide you the necessary information to win business, may help you when you need special consideration or have a problem.
No matter how they are treated, they are responsible for giving every dealer the best service possible.
However, you have to factor in the human element. Intimidation and anger might catalyze a problem’s resolution, but how do you think it impacts the relationship? I can tell you with certainty that customer service people, when they are treated with respect, are more likely to be creative and resourceful in the process of partnering with you on solving a problem, rather than being reactive or appeasing when put on the defensive just to get you off their back.
With the goal in mind to have a satisfied customer can spread a good word about the retailer and the brand, both wedding businesses and their suppliers are indeed on the same side of the table.