Adopt Some Service Standards Before It Is Too Late!

Posted by in Business, Clients, Cold Calling, customer service, Sales, Sales Objections, salespeople

    Either our customers are drawn towards us by excellent products and service solutions or they are being pushed away because of poor service and inappropriate solutions. At the point of being pushed away, a door of opportunity opens for our competition.

    If the competition is doing their job, our place is filled without us being any the wiser. We only become aware of the problem when sales that we took for granted do not materialize and more often or not, we take a number two, or even further down the line, position. Our only hope is to wait for the competition to fail as we did previously, and that door of opportunity is opened once again.

    In most cases, clients do not pick up the phone and call you to say, Hello. I just thought I would let you know that you are not doing a good job and unless the situation improves, I will have to look for another supplier. Instead, they slowly slip away and you only discover that you are losing their business after the fact. Even though there can a strong relationship between the buyer and you, this relationship cannot be counted upon to withstand repeated service infractions.

    Sadly, many sales reps count on the relationship to carry them through. In the meantime, our competitor is very grateful for the opportunity, which we created, and is going out of their way to provide a level of service that our client originally received from us but have not received for a very long time. If our client finds our competitor’s level of service to be professional and excellent, they will naturally be reluctant to let go of it. We will have to regain their trust which will require much more than patience, and saying, We are sorry this happened. Things have changed so let’s just go back to normal!

    If we have any chance of winning back the client’s trust, we will have to meet with the client and face the issues head on; no more taking the client for granted and hoping that the passage of time will make the troubles disappear. After any infraction occurs, trust is restored slowly, if at all. The Commitments to Service Standards below will be just one of the concrete strategies to will help you fast-forward this rebuilding process.

Rationale for the Call Objective

     Every meeting with a client should begin with the salesperson stating his or her reason for taking the client’s time. In sales talk, this process is referred to as a Call Objective. When you let your client know your call objective, you demonstrate your leadership and your client relaxes, knowing the purpose for investing this hour or so of his or her time.
Call Objective for the meeting

  • Review how it was
  • Take responsibility for situation as it exists today
  • Ask how you can make amends for today’s issues and situation
  • Agree on standards that will help rebuild trust between you and your client
  • Establish a go forward plan

Commitment to Service Standards: The more explicitly accountable you are willing to be, the faster trust will be rebuilt.

  • Daily reports from you to them
  • Accurate, on time production work
  • Invoicing to be accurate and on time
  • Respond to voice mail within two hours, with a status report (not necessarily the solution)
  • Respond to email within two hours with update (not necessarily the solution)
  • Full service and access via lab for troubleshooting and research
  • Attend weekly, or daily, operations meetings as needed
  • Provide in-house technical support
  • Call General Manager anytime of day or night if unable to get an answer through established communication channels
  • We will meet your requirement for inventory and field staff. When we promise your product and staff that will happen.
  • To ensure our company is keeping committees and standards agreed upon, the General Manager will touch base with you weekly to ensure that no service infractions, no matter how big or small, go unnoticed or untreated.

    When a client can measure our behavior with explicit standards of service, they know that they can count us to efficiently manage any infractions; we can rest assured that the competition does not have a chance of penetrating them. Because we have systems and processes in place, we can expect to be successful by design instead of by default. Our competition will shake their heads and wonder why our customers are well fortified against the competition.

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