Build a Relationship. It Might Save Your Company.

Nick Sarillo is the founder and CEO of Nick’s Pizza & Pub in Crystal Lake and Elgin, Ill. Here’s a great story he tells about how being honest and straightforward with his customers paid off:

When I considered e-mailing my customers and asking them for help during the economic downturn, my PR company thought it was a terrible idea. One year ago almost to this day, I did it anyway.  Here’s what I wrote:
“I have never understood why owner or management of a failing company usually don’t give others close to the company—especially  customers—fair warning about what is going on….I have always said I would never do that to the people I truly care about and owe my life to.”
I went on to explain that we would be forced to close because of faulty bank loans, new construction problems and real estate mismanagement. Then I asked for one last visit to help us out. Within a few minutes, the phones started ringing off the hook. And in another 20 minutes, the whole thing had gone viral. We’ve since seen our traffic and revenues grow, and we’re getting stronger by the day. In fact, our customers are more loyal than ever; over the past 17 years, we’ve built up a database of over 1,600 frequent guests. Each and every one feels like family to us because of the mutual trust we’ve built.

(via OPEN Forum)

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