Unhappy Customer Part II
When something goes wrong, it may fall into several "fault" categories.
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||April 28, 2003
||by Howard Partridge
||Unhappy Customer Part II
Unhappy Customer Part II
Our company automatically rewards a client if we are
late. We give a one hour arrival window (which is
unheard of with a ten truck company). If we do not
arrive during that hour window regardless of the
reason, the client gets rewarded based on how late we
were. If we were 30 minutes late, they will get a free
room of carpet protector or something of that nature.
If we are an hour late, they get several rooms of
protector or more cleaning done at no charge. If we are
more than 2 hours late, they get the free cleaning, plus
a certificate for future cleaning. If we have to re-
schedule the job, they don't pay!!
This commitment gives us a major accountability factor.
We will be there. None of this applies if the client
decided to reschedule. If it was our fault, for any
reason, we apply these rewards automatically.
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(actually part III of this series) shortly. PLUS: Keep
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When something goes wrong, it may fall into
several "fault" categories.
1. It's your fault. If it is your fault, own up to it
and apologize. If you are already aware of it, say "Mrs.
Jones, I know about it, and we are going to get it
taken care of immediately. Please forgive me. I promise
to get that taken care of right away. If it was your
fault, be sure to reward her for her inconvenience.
2. It was the customers fault. Let's say that
there was something they overlooked, didn't tell us
about, or didn't understand even if it was in writing.
Take care of her. If you don't, she will tell 3 to 50
people. It doesn't matter that it was her fault. The
best customer service reps are the ones that leave
their personal feelings out of the picture. It is a
business transaction. If the client is unhappy, and it
was her fault, you only have two choices: fire the
client and endure the outfall. Or, keep the client and
her referrals. If you do need to fire a client, make sure
you go the extra mile first. Then wait until the next
time she calls. Don't do it while you are in conflict over
the situation. Firing her when she calls in for new
service is the best time to do it.
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Fault x 2
3. It's both of your fault. Sometimes we both
have a hand in the problem. Perhaps the way the
transaction went down, we let them talk us into pricing
it over the phone, or whatever. We both goofed. So,
you fix it.
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The Devil Did It
4. It was someone else's fault. Maybe the
situation was caused by another party. There was a
pre-existing condition that was not apparent before
you serviced this client. Sorry, no excuses. The client
will perceive that you are just making an excuse and
trying to blame it on someone else. Remember that you
have only two choices.
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The Ghost Did It
5. It was no one's fault. There are times that
things don't work out. An "act of God", weather, or
whatever, caused some kind of problem. If your client
perceives that it was your fault, it is. Not in reality, but
in the reality of what you are offering: You are offering
a customer perception. No one that is getting more
than the absolute lowest price for his or her service is
offering anything less than a customer perception - an
expected experience. It is not about the physical job
you do or the physical product that you sell. It never
has been and never will be.
You sell a solution to a perceived problem. You sell a
fulfillment of a need. An emotional need. An emotional
need has a set of "expectations". The better you can
pre-qualify those expectations, the better you will be
able to communicate with the client whether their
expectations are realistic or not. As soon as you
commit to doing the job, or selling the product, you just
gave an "expectation guarantee". So you are really
selling something that is totally intangible. Therefore,
even if it was no one's fault, if you want to be a hero,
take care of your client, and watch your business grow.
The only exception to "shut down" on a client is if they
begin to curse you or threaten you. At this point, they
need to cool down. Say "I understand that you are
upset, but I cannot assist you unless we can
communicate." If they continue to curse or threaten,
then leave or hang up if over the telephone.
To find out more -click here- »
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