How NOT To Handle An Unhappy Customer!
The customer ordered a pre fabricated metal shed to be erected to cover his boat. The metal came from an East Coast fabrication facility, was of high quality, powder coated and designed to withstand harsh atmospheric conditions.
A date was agreed to for the product to arrive and the construction team to erect the building. The day before the crew was to begin, the customer received a call and told him that the truck had broke down, it would be another 2 weeks before the product would be delivered. Was that OK? Well, the customer said YES, he would wait another 2 weeks for the material to arrive and the crew to build the shed.
Two more weeks transpired, again another phone call, this time, the computer had crashed and the order would have to be resubmitted, meaning another 4 week wait. At this point, the customer pointed out that he would take his business elsewhere and find another vendor.
When the customer told us this story, our first thought was to find some middle ground, perhaps if the company would reduce the bill, i.e., “meet the customer half way”, the problem could be assuaged. Yes, the customer suggested that, however, the best that the company representative was willing to do was reduce the bill $100, on an order worth several hundred dollars—almost the cost of 3 months of mortgage payments.
It is always easier to retain a customer than find a new customer! In fact, it takes 10X the effort to find a new customer than retain an old customer. Think about that the next time a snag occurs with a customer. There is always some middle ground that can be worked out— most folks are willing to work for middle ground and find a “win-win” situation.