Keeping your promises matters…a lot!
While doing some competitive analysis for a client company, I came to a point where I was reading through the reviews of many competitors in the area. I found all the usual range of levels of satisfaction or disappointment. What was most impressive was the pattern of dissatisfaction over behavior. Specifically, the discontent over the lack of follow through.
I liked the work, but no follow through
Now it’s important to note that even where people were relatively satisfied with the services or the work performed, they still felt obliged to ding the company for their repeated failure to do what they said they would do. Mere follow through on call back dates and times would have fixed everything. Now that’s a dang shame. You not only lose the referral, but you may never hear from the folks that read the review commentary either. Talk about your double whammy.
Slow, or no, call back
Fully 67% of negative reviews dinged the company at least one star out of five for saying they would call or visit on a specific day or time frame but did not show or call. In some cases, the customers were particularly brutal when there were multiple offenses of failing to follow through. These case resulted in some scathing reviews indeed.
They must not want my business!
Another set of customers hated that they could not get a reasonable response out of the company. It’s become quite clear that people have grown more and more impatient about getting calls back, or responsiveness to a quote request. I found it fascinating how many customers dinged a customer with a highly negative review based solely on their lack of response to a quote request! Wow! No work was performed at all, and the prospect hammers the company in social media. That’s the world in which we now live. To make matters worse, I suspect the contractor is oblivious to the negative review.
Make making and keeping commitments a habit
Today, people expect a certain level of timely effort on your part if you are in business. And, the timer is shorter than ever. If a customer calls your company, they expect a response, any response, quickly. In that initial response, they expect to be told when to expect the next communication from your company. They expect you to make a reasonable commitment. They also expect you to follow through.
We must never forget
It would appear that the only thing that irritates people more than slow response is a missed response. You said you call on this date and at this time and you didn’t follow through. They are now unhappy. Sometimes they are distraught.
Track responsiveness and be great at it
So here’s some free advice: make sure you and your team are following through in all that you do. Strive to make commitments, and once you do, don’t miss them! The companies that are blowin’ and growin’ are answering calls immediately. They are generating budgetary estimates quicker than their competitors. They are rarely tardy and always call ahead when something happens to make them late.
Existing customers expect even more
For those who’ve already sold the customer, don’t ever ignore them or appear to ignore them. People tend to create monsters very quickly if they feel they are ignored. This is especially true for warranty situations. Follow through on your word, and you will be fine.
Just do it!
Bottom-line: Just follow through!