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A major *Fail* in the sales process… – Rise


Posted 03 Oct 2012 by Jacky Misson, in Sales Tips

A major *Fail* in the sales process…

A lot of the work I have been doing with companies recently has been around their Customer Journey and how easy – or difficult – it is for their customers to buy from them.

Yesterday and this morning I personally experienced some painfully bad service at the start of my own Customer Journey and it prompted me to write this blog post to highlight why it is so important.

Some of the following may sound familiar, some of it you may have experienced yourself, you may even recognise this as something you need to put right within your own company…..

I called the company in question for a quote, I am ready to buy, I need to make a decision this week and have it installed by 23 Oct.  You could call me a ‘warm’ or even a ‘hot’ lead.

The only contact number on their web site was an 0800 number, even though they have 5 local stores and when you go to the ‘contact us’ part of the site you are only given the option of a generic info@ email address.

I called the 0800 number and left a message with the lady who answered the phone (a call answering service) and waited for them to call me back.  This was at 1.20pm.

At 5.15pm I had a message left by ‘Dave’ on my mobile.  The number he left was incorrect and went through to a dead line.  So I then called the number that appeared on my mobile that he had called from but there was silence on the line.  I called this number twice more with no luck.

By now I would normally have given up (and they would have lost a potential customer) but as I know the MD of the company I persevered and called the 0800 number again this morning.

I explained what had happened to the call answering service and they said they would get someone to call me straight back.  A person form their Newhaven branch called me back within 10 minutes.

From now on the service has been ok BUT I bet I’m not the only person that has experienced similar frustrations and I bet the company in question has lost customers, and revenue because of this.

For the record, apparently ‘Dave’ had just moved over from another branch and kept getting the phone number wrong…….

I’m not going to spell out what went wrong here, I think it’s pretty obvious and unfortunately similar costly mistakes are happening at a lot of companies every day.

4 Responses

  • Penny Bailey says:

    Yes it’s incredible how hard it is to make contact with some organisations. Do they want to talk to their customers or potential customers you wonder when they hide their phone number in an obscure corner of their website.
    Our benchmark has always been to treat our clients as we would expect to be treated when we make contact with a business. What could be simpler? I hope we do!

  • Great case study in how a number of ‘small’ annoyances can compound into a major gripe.

    Also, call answering services strike me as a great way of putting distance between a business and their customers. They probably work for really small businesses but with three branches there must be someone who can answer the phone.

  • Well done for persevering, more patient than me! I hope ‘Dave’ gets some training!

  • I’ve just experienced the best and worst of customer service within the last 5 days. The worst was being at the mercy of the ‘some time between 8 and 6’ delivery which never materialised despite being chased at 5pm and being kept waiting on the phone for 30 minutes and then a no show and no apology. Funnily enough there was no offer to cover my loss of earnings for the day. Why is this acceptable? What can we do about it?

    The flip side was my phone company who I contacted through their ‘virtual assistant’ to see if I could adjust my tariff as I seemed to be paying a fortune each month. Within 2 text based exchanges I was paying just £1 a month more for so much more and as a ‘loyal customer’ got 3 months data roaming chucked in for free. I didn’t ask for this, but was pretty happy. When these virtual assistants work well, I personally really like them. They’re instant, it’s much easier to stay emotionally neutral (hard on the phone I think when you feel someone is not being helpful) and it’s like personalised email or messaging, so unobtrusive, yet responsive and fast AND you’re still dealing with a real person. For me, it made the experience very positive and I got a good outcome quickly.

    Regretfully I find few companies manage that via the phone services they offer. Generally I’m referring to large companies, but some small ones too. I’ll nearly always avoid calls if I think I can get things done via digital communications, even if it takes a bit longer.