Many businesses make promises but what separates a good business from a great business is their ability to honor the promises that they make to their customers.
Let's face it, it is easy to make a promise but it's far harder to keep them.
Making promises means you need to deliver on them.
You also need to set up systems to ensure that you monitor those promises.
If you are promising "fanatical support" it isn't helpful if someone calls your sales phone number and hears the message, unable to connect please try again.
This was the case recently when I contacted a well known hosting company. All I wanted was to find out how much it would cost for a dedicated hosting account with a SSL certificate so I could contact a client and let them know.
I called this hosting company because they have a great reputation for offering great support.
However, that reputation was shattered when I found I could not get through to them despite wasting about 45 minutes of my time trying to call them. I also tried live chat.
Unfortunately, all live chat wanted was my phone number, email address, company name, first name and last name. Sheesh - next time they will be asking for my date of birth, husbands name, business address and so on. Man - I've spent 45 minutes trying to call them with one simple question and I get 10 questions directed at me before I get an answer. Do they want my business of not?
Was it really necessary. Sometimes, we get caught up in capturing the detail that we forget their is a human on the other end who doesn't really know, like or trust you.
You made a promise, didn't deliver and now want me to give you all my personal information!
They needed to re-establish credibility with me.
After an experience like that, they needed to re-establish their credibility with me. That didn't happen.
They had me at hello
But they lost me me when their phone didn't work. They didn't seem to take my concerns seriously and then asked for too much information. Here is a sample of that conversion:
I then asked about dedicated hosting. I asked for someone to call me. That's when I got asked for more information than I thought was necessary.
I felt cheated. Not only did they not take my concerns seriously, they also asked for too much information.
Now this company has probably have spent a lot of money on marketing to help build them a solid reputation.
Their phone line let them down - not just for 5 minutes but for 45 minutes.
I wonder how many other people called and had the same experience as me.
I wonder how much business they lost.
There's two classic mistakes here:
- Not living up to the promise
- Asking for too much information before having a relationship with me.
Firstly, the staff on live chat could have handled my concerns better. This is where good training needs to be provided.
Secondly, they asked too many questions. Sometimes, it is far better to get basic details and then follow up with more questions - critically after you have gained someone's trust.
So my advice, before you spend money on your marketing make sure you have your business systems and processes in place and honor the promises you make. Otherwise, you might just find that your marketing money is wasted.