I was using a popular site where you can place advertising for a broad variety of goods and services, when I received a strange response to an ad that was not mine. A short time later I received an email from the site techs saying my account had been hacked and that they would recover my advertisement and within 24 hours, send me a link to change my password.
I was busy and did not think about it for nearly a week, then realized I had not heard from them so I sent them an e-mail. The response I received back contained no apology for not getting back to me sooner, but told me that they had been unable to restore my advertisement. Further to this they suggested I must have answered a phishing e-mail and given them my username and password, or perhaps my computer had malware. In any case they had cancelled my account and I would have to re-apply with a new email address!
My response was that I had never given out my username and password and that my computer was clean as evidenced by a regular scan that morning. I also stated that I would not be applying for a new account with a new email address.
Their response was that if I changed my mind I could have the top level of advertising for three days at no cost, but went on to say I must have accessed their site through a link on an email that a potential customer had sent me and that I should only access their site through their web address. Needless to say I am no longer a customer.
An interesting study in how not to do business! First of all, always do what you say you will do. If you say you will get back to your customer in 24 hours, do it! Also do not lay the blame on the customer without knowledge of what took place at their end. Even if it was the customer’s fault the objective should be to find a solution to the issue that maintains customer confidence and strengthens the relationship.
A friend who owned a car dealership told me that if a customer had a complaint or issue, there was a chain of command so the customer would seek satisfaction on two lower levels first. He told me that if the customer wound up sitting in front of him there was only one question he asked and that was, “How can I make this situation right?” He said at that point it was not about money, but integrity and maintaining the customer.
Ensure that your customers or clients are satisfied with your products or services and that your staff know how, and have the authority, to remedy the small issues that arise. These are the ones who earn you the money and the ones who pay the bills. If the customers are happy they will tell one person. If they are not, they will tell ten!
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