Want to share an experience I had today; my client had decided to purchase a new copier for his office. Being old fashioned he personally visited several stores before deciding on a copier that had all the features he needed. Once the decision was made he asked the sales person what the final price was and upon receiving it, he made an offer which was about 10% lower than the final quoted price. The sales person said he would have to check with his manager and he would call my client back by 6 pm.
Not having heard anything by 6pm he called the store at 6:30 and was told that the sales person was busy with another prospect and he would call him back. At 7:30 he again called the store and once again was told that the sales person was tied up and please leave a message. At 8 this evening he again called the store and was able to talk to the sales person. His excuse for not calling is that he got too busy to talk to his manager. My client told him to forget it and hung up the phone.
I received his frustration telephone call about 8:30 this evening. This is a classic example of how to lose a potentially large customer. My client has a fast growing business and his budget calls for $50,000 in computer and related purchases for the remainder of the year.
I am sure that all of us have experienced poor communications and periods of waiting for a supplier to call back or to show up for a service call.
One of the biggest complaints that consumers have is that of poor communications. As a business owner, establishing and adhering to a good communication policy is essential to sustained growth. A customer expects good service and when he receives it, he may or may not tell anyone else about it. When the same customer receives bad service, the word will be spread far and wide and the business owner that gave the bad service will never know why his business is slowing down instead of growing.
An office policy manual is important even if you have a one person operation. the communication section should include:
- How is the telephone answered
- How a person is greeted when he/she walks into the office.
- A policy on returning calls
- A policy on after- sales communications with a buyer
The correct answers to these questions should be common sense, but in reality many businesses don’t handle this aspect of their businesses correctly and suffer the consequences.
The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.