Views and Opinions from our Marketing Experts
7 Deadly Sins - Don't Disgrace Your Business
This is the first in a short series of blogs based on personal experience, highlighting the 7 deadly sins committed on a daily basis by retailers, service providers and even small business owners; discussing the sin and outlining what we believe those businesses could have done to win a sale.
Over recent weeks, helping an aging relative to settle into a new home (and all the household purchases associated with that) my eyes have been opened to the shocking lack of interest from businesses to convert prospects into customers. Let's look at the 7 Deadly Sins I've discovered Disgrace, Condemn, Offend, Neglect, Obstruct, Blame and Alienate.
Let's start with Disgrace
Disgrace: You failed to do what you said you would do. It's a surefire way to drive your prospect or customer to your competitor fast while telling the world why they didn't use you. While you're at it, make yourself impossible to do business with -your brand is quickly in disgrace; and all the hard work you've put in to building a reputation will be wasted.
The Telco Sinner - Before moving, my relative planned ahead and asked the phone company to set up a new phone line and number in her new home. She duly received notification of the date and the new phone - a good start. Sadly, the phone company in question failed to inform her they actually hadn't been able to take over the line they own nor make the number operational. They didn't do what they said they would do; worse still they didn't tell their customer. It took 6 hours on a mobile to sort out the problem. This Telco is one customer down!
The Local Tradesman Sinner - In need of a plumber who could deal with gas plumbing as well, we made 6 calls to local tradesmen. We got lucky, or so we thought; the first two answered their mobile phones personally and promised to call back. We left four messages. Net result - a total disgrace; the two who did answer never called back. The other four never returned the call which makes me wonder why they bothered to advertise their services in the first place.
What can business, tradesmen, retailers do to avoid disgrace and the bad press that follows? It's incredibly easy and you already know the answer.....
1. Do what you said you would do - keep your promise it defines the value in your brand and at the moment it differentiates you from your competition. The phone company could have let their now ex-customer know there was a problem and continued a dialogue. The plumbers simply needed to tell the truth initially or phone back - it's not rocket science!
2. Communicate openly and honestly - if you can't help then say so. If there's a problem, let the customer know. Nobody wants to be left in the dark. Don't set false expectations, it only leads to disgrace for your business and your brand.
3. Return calls whether you need the business or not - It's a simple courtesy and it will keep prospects and potential future customers favourably disposed towards your business. Someday you may need their business and you'll be grateful for the income
4. Don't make it difficult for people to communicate or buy from you - Don't just direct people to a website when they phone unless you are equipped to respond to the emails and queries they submit. Don't cite a response time unless you can guarantee it.
It costs around 6 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep one so it makes sense to do what you can to secure your customers' business and keep them happy. Happy customers buy again and again as long as the price is fair and the experience is reliable which extends the lifetime value of the customer.
If you think your customer experience could be improved, let us help. We can audit your customer experience from a customer's point of view and discuss the findings in complete confidence and help you to design a better experience, just email us. The first consultation is FREE.
Make sure your customers have the best experience. Take pride and don't be a disgrace to your brand or company.
P.S. Next time we'll look at Condemn!