Quote:I like your policy of sending the actual sample rather than a proof.
Yeah, well, that should happen more often. :angry: That could have avoided this whole problem in the first place...one of the things I am trying
to drum into my people.
A product proof typically costs us about $50, a cost that we absorb entirely into the order with no charge to the customer. I find it curious that my front line people get worried about charges like that, when it has no affect on them personally whatsoever. :confused: I tell them repeatedly
that product proofs are good. They are an insurance policy that the customer is getting what they really want and not what they think
they want (often two different things).
The time that a product proof adds to an order (about two weeks), means that a good chunk of our orders can't be product proofed since customer deadlines are often very, very tight. It's up to the rep to identify the orders that are time enabled and to then make the call to add the product proof step. I've given the general guideline of dollar value $1000 and above..but...sigh, I find that I have to go through orders myself and remind people to do a product proof on individual ones.
It's not that my people don't care, they do, they really do care...it's just that they aren't enough in the habit of making it happen. (I ask a lot of them, I do.)
Quote:At some point, though, the customer does something wrong, and the company has to decide whether the customer is always right. A revolution swept through customer care about 15 years ago - The Customer Isn't Always Right. The management issue boils down to: What are you going to do when they're wrong?
Here's the way I try to handle it:
The customer is often wrong, very very wrong.
If I don't start with that philosophy, it is too demoralizing for my folks on the front lines.
I'd probably be shot
or lose my workforce, if I tried to get my people to swallow that Jane Smythe, Director of Marketing from Hell, who blithely ignored all of our warnings about X and signed off without reading Y, is still right
when she calls to bitch about a problem that she caused in the first place.
That's not fair to my good person who has worked her tush off and still has a complaining shrew on the line.
So, yeah, put Jane on hold, concur that she is the Bitch from Hell, and then the rep gets back on the phone with her and calmly solves her problem, sometimes at our expense, and always in a friendly, cooperative fashion.
What I won't tolerate
, and I mean won't
, is reps who get in pissing contests with customers. We can be right all we like, but right doesn't pay anybody's salary, the next order does.
At some point, and only with a small, teensy, handful of our customers, someone in mangement or I will decide that the customer is just plain trouble
, and we run the risk of losing money every time we take an order. At that point, we'll draw a line in the sand. I've "fired" customers on occasion, with a very nice communication that told them we doubted we'd ever be able to make them happy, and here's the phone number of our competitor.
Fr. Kurt wrote:
Quote:I guess I must be an exceptional customer then.
Honestly, padre, if you were exceptional, I'd be flipping burgers at McDonalds. Most of our customers are reasonable, sane human beings.
My "bend over backwards" policy isn't there just to try to keep Jane Smythe, Marketing Director Bitch from Hell, as a customer. I can afford to lose her. My policy is there to steep my people in the attitude of taking care of the customer no matter what, so that the decent folks, the majority of our business, are assured to have excellent service.
I've learned it is really, really hard
to accomplish things through a group of people. I can't talk to customers anymore, it's not like the old days. I have to find ways to have the attitude that I want to represent us come through anyway. You can't legistlate or regulate attitude. Plaques on the wall, feh. You have to find ways to make it crystal clear
is the way we
And yeah, I learned a lot from Nordstroms.