Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.
Here I go again! Another situation, another lesson for you and your business. Let me see if I can make this short and sweet.
I decided to have my girls’ 3rd birthday party at a children’s museum. Several days before the party, a few of my friends discovered that they could not attend, significantly driving down my number of guests, which would have put me in a lower price bracket (to the tune of about a 30 percent savings overall on the cost of the party room rental). I contacted the museum about the change and was informed that I would have had to make any changes seven days prior to the event. As I was never verbally informed of this, I was compelled to search through my paperwork and discover that, yes, based on the language in the contract, I was beyond the timeframe to change.
HOWEVER...I was a member of the museum. And more importantly, I was told, “Sorry there’s nothing we can do.” Not a very shining example of customer-focused service, in my opinion.
My first e-mail went unacknowledged, so five days later I forwarded it to another person, who finally responded, both by phone and e-mail. Basically, she said, I can send you some free guest passes so you can invite the people who missed the party to attend another playdate with your kids.
Here is what is wrong with that, and what she could have done, and what YOU can do, to make sure you are resolving customer conflicts to the satisfaction of all involved.
Like it or not, we are all in the service business, and solving problems is one of the ways that we can strengthen, solidify and build our loyal customer base. Involving the client in the solution, making them feel heard and important is a vital process. Don’t lose a customer because you were too busy upholding policy or standing your ground to remember why you are in business in the first place. No customers, no business.