She picked up the phone and said: “Yes, I did receive your email”. That was my potential client’s Internal Communication Specialist who I had been trying to get in touch with for over a week. But let’s start the story from the beginning…
Ten days ago I received a written confirmation that one of Poland’s TOP 100 companies is interested in having me as a speaker at their internal intrapreneurship event. There was only one detail missing in that email – the fee. So I kindly asked to confirm the budget we had agreed on earlier on the phone to have it all clear.
To my great surprise the amount “confirmed” was 50% of the initial sum. I stayed calm, just replied quickly with something like: “Thanks, I’d love to work with you, but I can’t do it for such an amount”. Then I waited for their final decision. A few days passed, nothing happened.
I tried calling, but the Internal Communication Specialist wasn’t picking up. I didn’t expect much, just a short message: “Thanks for your reply. That’s our max. Maybe next time.”. In the meantime another client asked me if this date was available, so I got even more pressure to know the final decision.
Today, after 10 days, I got in touch with the client’s representative. (It’s rather surprising how this communication department communicates.) The Internal Communication Specialist didn’t even feel uncomfortable with not having replied and said “Yes, I got your email”- which meant “We are not interested in your offer”.
Could this little incident have a butterfly effect that will eventually decrease sales?
What if it went like this:
1. I associate this person’s behaviour with the brand she represents.
2. I share my experience with someone asking for my opinion about the brand.
3. Since in a competitive market a buyer pays great attention to customer service while choosing his supplier, my story convinces him to turn down this company’s offer.
4. We multiply this incident by the number of workdays and people searching for advice.
How many customers would they lose?
How to handle such situations from the company’s perspective?
1. Emphasise the significance of handling external communication in a compassionate manner while paying adequate respect to service providers of any size. You can show this story to your team as an example.
2. Bring entrepreneurship trainings to your team, so they can see the big picture of your business. Entrepreneurs have great understanding of the business as a whole. Such training can improve team member’s engagement and encourage proactive attitude towards problem solving.
3. Obviously, you’ve already been sending out customer satisfaction surveys. Empower transparence by introducing feedback forms for your service providers, who can comment on the quality of interaction with your company.
Inspired to bring this story to your team and save your sales?