Unintentional Selling – Selling Customers on Defecting

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verizonI’ve hit on this topic several times before when I ranted about:

Today, Verizon Wireless gets the brunt of my wrath!

I’m a planner – I make sure every detail has been taken care of in advance because I hate surprises. So before my recent trip I purchased a new smart phone, choosing one only after I was assured it would work in Europe and Turkey. Then I called Verizon and confirmed that my new phone would work in the 3 cities I would be in, and purchased Global Roaming.

Then, on October 9, it happened. I landed in London and had no phone service. How could this be possible after the precautions I had taken? I was panicking because I had no way to connect and I desparately needed to connect. I found a wireless network (that wouldn’t be the case in the Turkey airport), got Skype working, called Verizon and was told that my phone will not work in London, Istanbul or Amsterdam. And it wouldn’t work anywhere else in Europe either. Duh. I had already figured that out myself. But what was Verizon going to do about it? Could they unlock it so that I could purchase a SIM card? No – too easy. Could they refer me to a partner in Turkey so that I could get a phone to use while I was there? No – too complicated. I could buy a disposable phone but Heathrow didn’t have any stores that sold them. There was literally nothing they could do. The people who needed to connect with me were out of luck – they couldn’t. And I couldn’t connect with them either. My entire trip was in jeopardy.

Companies make mistakes. People make mistakes. We judge them not by their mistakes but by how they solve the problems they caused. Not only could my entire problem have been avoided, Verizon could have had someone met me at my next stop with a working phone. I would have paid for that. A small company would have found a way to do that because they cherish every customer and wouldn’t want to lose even one. However, once companies get to a certain size, they race to the bottom, don’t care about churn, and their support people care little about anything except meeting call number quotas. “Oh-oh, I’ve had Dave on the phone for 10 mintues – I’m 5 minutes over – need to get to the next call. ‘Sorry sir, there’s nothing I can do to help.'”

Companies still don’t seem to get that it doesn’t matter how good their marketing is. It doesn’t matter how effectively they sell. It doesn’t matter how good the product or service is. When it reaches the point where they show their customers that they really don’t care about their customer’s experience, the customer will have been well sold on defecting.

Put as much effort into keeping your customers as you do into getting your customers and your business will grow from word of mouth! We often work with companies whose sales have been flat for several years. The usual reason is that their salespeople are failing to bring in new business. On the flip side, the one thing these companies seem to be doing well is keeping the business they have. Kudos to them!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

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