Great Leaders Make it Right
MAKE THEM FEEL IMPORTANT
Great Leaders get in front of an uncomfortable situation instead of running from it. When there is a customer service issue many businesses choose not to address it until they absolutely have too. Having an uncomfortable conversation is a sign of maturity and not insecurity. In that defining moment, you will build brand loyalty or possibly lose a customer for life.
In today’s business environment, the lifecycle for a new product offering is six months give or take. In the past you could launch a product and market it for three years. This is no longer the case because of innovative new products constantly being introduced and the extremely short attention spans. Building a team of doers that are crystal clear about the mission and vision who respond to the customer with an excellence reflex, has never been more important. When the client feels that they have been heard and know that you care, they will be loyal to your brand and tell others. On the other hand, if they have a bad experience they will scream about it on social media.
I learned the power of responding to a customer issue with an excellence reflex when I kept a client in an uncomfortable situation. When I was in the electronic payment and point of sale software business, I had a sales person misrepresent our solution to a restaurant chain. He was in his first year with my company and didn’t understand the complexity of the client’s needs. It was early in the sales cycle and the deliverables hadn’t been implemented yet. I contacted the key person at the restaurant chain and arranged for a meeting. I explained that the solution presented, would not perform the way that they needed it to. We talked more about their long- term goals and vision. My team and the restaurant’s IT people came up with another solution that cost more than the original package price. I heavily discounted the system and kept the client. We lost a little money but gained the trust of the client. In the long run, my approach was rewarded by many referrals of profitable clients.
Take -Action and Create Loyalty
Empower Staff to Make it Right. Overtime the sales person that I mentioned in the illustration above, became very knowledgeable about our products and our mission and vision. I empowered him to “make it right” and take immediate corrective action to fulfill the company promises. As a result, we kept client’s years longer than the average industry attrition rate of 12% retention. We also created “raving fan’s” of our brand.
It has often been said that it is five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. When a situation is handled with light speed customers feel that you care and will spread the word.