If you’re in business long enough, I guarantee you’ll experience it. But my question for you is… how will you manage it so that you don’t lose a customer?
Yup. I’m talking about customer service snafus. Last week before my three-day event, Unleash Your Incredible Factor, I experienced five (5) of them. Yes, five. On five separate occasions vendors and suppliers did me dirty – and the worst part: none of them handled it in a way that would salvage my relationship with them.
And sadly, none of them will ever have the pleasure of having me as a customer again. (And, I pay well and on time 🙂 )
But this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV isn’t about the five vendors who are no longer my suppliers. It’s about you. And your business. And the way you can save face when you experience a problem in dealing with one of your customers.
Watch this week’s episode to see what I mean.
In this week’s episode, I speak my mind about customer service. Now, I am of the belief that all things considered you should have amazing customer service. I mean earth-shattering service that makes you the only choice each and every time. This, in and of itself, will not get you customers. BUT, it will help you to keep them when things go awry. (Remember that people will only pay you if they have a problem that they think you can solve, but; amazing service will keep them for life.)
Here are my five tips again (which by the way is one for each vendor on how they could have saved me as a customer):
- When you make a mistake, can’t meet a deadline or don’t meet their expectations, call them. Don’t send an email. Emails are impersonal and it’s quite possible that they may not see the email in a timely manner to find another solution. In this case, the email I received was not viewed until a day later and that one day cost me a world of heartache…
- If something goes awry, own it and apologize. Then, move hell and high water to fix it as quickly as possible. Like I said, mistakes happen. Sometimes you pick up the wrong item and ship it. In my case, the vendor sent the wrong item and told my event manager that they were sending someone immediately with the right one. Immediately for me means within a few hours but for them, it meant within 24 hours. Not good!
- Send an acknowledgement gift. Yes, a gift. An act of apology to let them know that you still value them as a customer and want to ensure that you can move on beyond the experience. The money you spend to save the customer will allow you to earn more in the long term. Or, deduct a portion or all of the payment due to compensate for the headache and suffering that your mistake has caused.
- If you can’t fix the problem, have an alternative ready to present when you call your customer. This is why you need to build relationships with people who do what you do. That way, when you drop the ball, your colleague can pick it up and get you both to the goal line. In more than one of the situations, working with a colleague could have saved these businesses from becoming dead to me.
- If you are outside of the timeframe established at the beginning or need to confirm details before processing the order, call before running the card. Now I’m sure everyone manages their accounts differently but I keep my event funding in a separate account and then transfer it to my checking account. Because a vendor charged before the order was confirmed they overdrew my checking account and didn’t even apologize directly to me. Unbelievable.
Again, each of these issues could have been salvaged and then they could depend on my business again but more customer service skills and operations procedures are at the root of why they can no longer consider me a customer.
Don’t let this happen to you.
So, what say you? What tips do you have for others when dealing with a customer service issue that you caused? Which of the tips I share will you be adding to your customer service operations procedures?
Remember, the real fun happens here on the blog after you watch the show. Be sure you leave a comment about what you gained for this week’s episode.
This week, I invite you to try the tips I share on, if they fit…ROCK them! Because you deserve to unleash your Incredible Factor.
©2013 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Speaker, Business Coach and Marketing Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises.com, Incredible Factor University® the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System® a proven step-by-step program for more clients, more income and more leverage in your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Unleashing Your Incredible Factor So You Attract More Clients, Make More Money and Gain More Leverage” just fill out the form below.