Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stop Driving Your Customers Crazy - Part 4 and 5

Crazy-Maker Number Four: You waste too much of the client’s valuable time.

In today’s world, clients don’t return calls. They refuse meetings. They won’t go to lunch. Why? Because they don’t see talking, meeting or eating with you as a good use of their time.

They’re swamped. They come in early and stay late, and when your voicemail message says, “I just wanted to call and touch base,” there is no benefit to them to them to call you back.

Every time you touch the client it is your sacred responsibility to build a stronger perception of value. To do that, every phone call, email and meeting must focus on the most important person on earth—the buyer—and how you can help them.

Talk to your client today. Ask, “What do you want to know more about?” If they care about a topic you want to discuss they’ll return calls and agree to meetings.

Crazy-Maker Number Five: You ignore complaints.

Little things drive us crazy if they happen often enough and influence buying decisions.

Major complaints get addressed, but it’s easy to ignore smaller complaints like:
  • Is your customer service person always in a bad mood? I hate to ask him for anything?
  • Why do you take so long to get an estimate? Isn’t there anything you can do?
  • I told you I need proof of shipping on every invoice. Can your accounting department get this right next time so I don’t have to keep calling?

Customers are score-keepers. You gain points for doing something right. You lose points for doing something wrong. If you ignore enough complaints you will lose the customer.

I once spoke to Elizabeth Dahlin, Vice President and CFO at Communicorp in Columbus Georgia about how people make purchasing decisions. She said, “People get married for one reason and stay married for others.”

Clients buy initially because they’re unhappy with another vendor, or they need what you sell and believe it makes sense to buy it from you.

Clients continue to buy because you keep promises, care about their satisfaction and address their complaints. If a client complains, fix it or explain why you lack the power to address the situation.

No comments: