How to Repair Customer Relationships When Things Go Wrong


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As salespeople, it’s essential to always be aware of what’s going on with your customer implementations. It’s also critical to never confuse sales with implementation; yes, you have sold something – but remember that your next sale is only as good as your last implementation. Under the best of circumstances when your customers’ implementation and resulting solution has provided real value for the company, you can work hard towards a renewal, another product sale, etc. But a poor experience will obviously place your next sale in jeopardy. 

That said, we all know that things can and do go wrong. A feature doesn’t work, something crashes, and integration becomes a challenge. Your Customer Support team gets involved and calls/emails are flying. So, what does a great salesperson do first? 

Answer: Get to the customer right away and take responsibility for whatever happened. In a Harvard study about the characteristics of great salespeople, this one is definitely towards the top of the list; the best sales professionals take responsibility for all results. First and foremost, showing empathy will enable you to align with the customer. Then, make sure you quickly figure out and communicate how you will solve their problem. Saying things like, “What can I do right now to solve your problem?” go a long way in making things better and ensuring that your credibility remains intact. 

One upset customer and one negative comment, especially in the social media realm, is all it takes to erase the positive experiences that may have come before. Your customer is your next reference and good customers pay dividends down the road so it’s important that you take these steps to ensure an enduring, strong relationship that will hopefully lead to more sales. 

Do you have a situation in which you have had to repair a broken relationship? How did it go? We would love to hear from you so post a comment.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tim Haller
Tim Haller has over 25 years of sales and sales management experience. He has delivered training and consulting to Fortune 100 clients across a variety of industries, including technology, business services, travel/leisure and biotechnology. Tim has trained hundreds of sales professionals to close business through the use of effective sales prospecting, negotiation, and closing techniques.


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