October 12, 2011

Are You Open for Business?

Have you ever been behind a truck that has a company logo and contact information on the back and the driver isn’t operating the vehicle in a respectful manner? A few years ago, I was behind one that said “How do you like my driving?” The driver was weaving through traffic, cutting people off. He must have been late or just inconsiderate.

After several blocks we ended up at the same stop light so all his weaving and bobbing garnered him a couple of car lengths. So I called the number on the back of the truck and spoke with someone from his office. The person on the line sounded put off and frankly shocked that someone actually called their bluff to tell them about their driver’s actions. She got me off the phone as soon as possible.

Two Chances at a First Impression

That’s two lost business opportunities in five minutes. The driver was driving like a dufus and the person on the phone didn’t care. How sad. All their well-craft marketing and public relations efforts disintegrated in that moment.

We’ve all endured the 20 minute “we are experiencing an unusually high volume of calls but you are important to us” situations. In fact, when we do get to the customer service person in less than a few minutes we are shocked. The world has taught us to quietly wait our turn and that’s how it’s going to be so too bad.

Who Wants Some?

I asked a group of business owners and manages recently if they enjoyed great customer service and no surprise, they all said yes. Who wouldn't? Then I asked if they had received great customer service 100% of the time for their entire lives and well, you know their response. So clearly some of them are providing bad customer service or I failed elementary math. It's pretty simple, you want good give good, you give bad don't be surprised when you get bad.

We spend an immense mount of energy and resources telling customers that we are open to their needs and yet we fall down several times on our way to the sale. So if you say your business is open to providing great service and it's something you personally enjoy from other providers, it should be easy to incorporate the two into your offering.

Or perhaps they won't notice your driving.

Kneale Mann

image credit: teacherontheradio
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