The nationwide chain of gymnasiums always offers great equipment and outstanding customer service, but then the unthinkable happened. According to the clerk, and after about nine years of membership, I learned that my account was erased.
Erased; the word stung! There was no phone call, no email, no formal letter and not even a tweet announcing the cancellation. No word was seen or heard. I was appalled!
I frequently write about open communication and remaining in touch with clientele. Being open is similar to being transparent. As salespeople, we have to be comfortable discussing all issues at hand without hesitation. We are to answer all questions with honesty. And when we don’t know the answer, we need to let it be known, and then get help securing the correct information.
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Should you realize a problem with an account exists, have ideas ahead of time for fixing it. Then speak with the client to offer options for resolving the issue, and get their input for their preferred method. Find a meeting of the minds to negotiate a satisfactory outcome for all. Most often, this is the only way you will retain a client.
Meanwhile, my saga continued. I was the one who picked up the phone to resolve the issue. As it turns out, the one facility is not on the list of those I’m entitled to visit with my type of membership.
The rabbit hole to poor customer service continues
- After a cross-country move, why did the issue take almost three years to discover?
- Why is my husband’s account still okay?
- Why weren’t we provided an appropriate list of participating gyms in the first place?
And the bonus question is: “How can you, in good conscience, erase someone’s account without informing them of the problem?”
The saying that advised to treat others as you wish to be treated, comes to mind. The secret to sales success is putting yourself in your clients’ shoes. Come to an understanding of their situation to bridge their issues with the services you have to offer.
No doubt, as a client, you have had unpleasant experiences, too. How did they make you feel? How were the issues resolved? Now consider those you serve. Have any previous clients expressed disappointment? If so, how did you handle the conversation?
- Argue with your clients
- Work to find possible solutions
- End on a happy note for a continued working relationship?
Working toward a good conclusion relieves all tension. Your effort assures the client they made the right choice upfront by choosing you as their provider. Should you have long-term clients, it is always best to ask them how frequent they would like you to check in with them. At the very least, make it a quarterly or a semi-annual habit to get updates from each.
Your own company, as well as that of the client, will always experience change. Genuine interest in your clients’ welfare will bring about greater appreciation. When clientele sees you striving to find a satisfactory outcome for everyone, you encourage further interactions that include an increase in sales.
- Don’t erase a client unless you desire bad word of mouth to spread.
- Figure out where the problem began.
- Together work out a plan to resolve the issue.
- Get agreement from everyone that the solution works well.
- Ask for a satisfaction rating on working with you.
- Should glowing words come your way, ask for a formal testimonial.
- Check in with all clients on a regular basis to ensure satisfaction.
- Answer all questions directly and honestly.
- Establish a personal brand of trust.
- Celebrate Success!
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