Sometimes your processes are textbook, your product or service offering is valued and desired in the marketplace and…
…you miss on execution.
More importantly, you miss on customer-facing execution.
There is a web company here in the U.S. that has done very well marketing themselves and their service for years. They do a nice job most of the time, and I’ve been using their service for years. But when I recently wrote about a product that hadn’t arrived, I received no reply. I wrote back one week later and included my original email thread.
My response will make any small business owner shiver:
Thank you for contacting [name of company], we reviewed the account and your redemption has been send of to be filled. Please allow six to twelve weeks, form the date we send it to the Vendor (highlighted date) for the subscription to arrive, if it is not been, received with in that time frame please contact us so that we can contact our Vendor and inquirer about the delay and assist you further. Feel free to contact us with any concerns that you have.
This kind of reply makes me, King of Typos, die a little bit inside. The company’s entire customer interaction with a person instead of the brand was dealt with in a rules-based, you-didn’t-read-the-fine-print email by someone who clearly doesn’t have fluency in the customer’s language.
When I was running a lead generation service, I spoke with a woman once who was using a tracking telephone number for a one truck plumbing business she ran with her husband. They had a top of the line number, and I suggested a downgrade because they didn’t need some of the advanced features like call recording.
“I want to hear how my husband [the plumber] is talking to customers when I’m not in the office,” she said. “He is a nice man, but he hates talking on the telephone.”
Executive Summary: Don’t leave the customer interactions alone once the process is in place. Monitor with internal resources and an external mystery shopping service. In this global, offshore-for-a-tiny-increment, interconnected world, you simply can’t afford to leave your customer contact channels unmonitored. Almost without exception, there is no activity you engage that is more important than customer retention.