In both of my companies (Information Experts and Successful Culture), many times I’ve experienced the double-edged sword of getting a phone call from a company that has had a bad experience from a competitor.
Bad business experiences harm everyone.
They create mistrust, skepticism, anger, and resentment for the company seeking a solution. They tarnish the reputation and validity of service providers within the industry that didn’t deliver.
When a company receives a call to go in and pick up where the other company left off, or clean up a mess, they are stepping into a situation in which they have to work extra hard to gain trust.
If you are on the receiving end of that call, what are the steps you can take to ensure your company delivers, and hopefully builds a customer for life?
Here are the rules you should follow to launch a strong, trust-based relationship.
- Know that time to close may take longer. The company you are working with has already spent part of their budget on a failed solution. They may be reluctant to stroke another check, even though they know they need your service. There may be a trust issue which may take time to resolve.
- Know that you will have to provide details about how you work. Whatever process the former company used, it didn’t work. Your new client will want to know how you are different than the other company. They will likely want explanations of step-by-step processes you apply to do your work.
- Know that transparent, proactive communication will be essential for the success of this project. We leave extensive paper trails for all engagements. Every client knows at all times what they can expect from Successful Culture, what we expect from them, and what the status is of our work together. There is no room for ambiguity when delivering for a client.Communication breeds trust. Trust breeds loyalty. Loyalty breeds repeat business and referrals.
- Know that there is no place for trash-talking the other company. Remember that you are hearing only one side of the equation. The only thing you know for sure is that the two companies are no longer working together. It’s important to always take the high road, and not disparage another organization. Assume anything you would say would travel back to the other company. It only reflects poorly on you.
- Know that you must protect yourself by doing a comprehensive needs analysis, communicating a clearly defined scope, communicating clear expectations for both parties, and not agreeing to something you can’t deliver.
It is possible to transform a bad situation into something positive. By following these rules, chances are high that you will create a customer for life.
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About Successful Culture
We work with business owners, CEOs, and leadership teams that want to achieve their greatest personal & organizational potential. Through coaching, strategic consulting, retreat facilitation, and workshops, we equip leaders & emerging leaders with the mindset, tools, strategies, and processes they need to excel.
Please check out my Inc. Magazine columns on my Author Page too.
Learn about the 12 Habits of Horrible Leaders, and How to Break Them.
Wishing you joy and success on your journey!
CEO, Successful Culture
“Taking Leaders from Triage to Transformation.”