How good is your company when it comes down to passing your MOT tests?
Those occasions when you come into direct contact with your customers and potential customers. Those moments which, ultimately, determine what your customers think of you.
It might be an incoming phone call. It might be a chat on an exhibition stand. It might be at the very point you deliver your product. It could be when your products are returned to you, deemed unsuitable by your customer.
These are the key moments when your customer or potential customer decides...are you any good at what you do?
You'll know your MOT's -- and you'll know that you should be wowing the customer at each and every MOT.
The ultimate MOT
And then there's that ultimate Moment Of Truth for the customer...when they complain to you. Your company's future could depend on how well you deal with those complaints. And with the onset of social media, whether you work for a multi-national brand or own the local cafe, if you don't handle customer complaints and comments in the right way, you could be in trouble.
My thoughts about turning complaints into opportunities are not new, you'll see them in many 'how to' guides. But, as we head towards the busiest time of the year for many companies, we're heading for the busiest time of the year for complaints too.
So it's worth checking in...how good are you at dealing with complaints? Here are my thoughts...
* Welcome complaints. What fantastic feedback they are. If something's not right, surely you want to know about it? When you get a complaint it's not time to hide - it's time to spring into action! Treat it as valuable feedback on your product or service. Receiving complaints in the short run might save your company in the long run. It's those that don't complain and quietly ditch you that are the concern! So...when clients complain, it's not a nuisance; it's an opportunity.
* Make it quick and easy to complain. Make sure that if ever your customers have need to complain -- that they are QUICKLY able to speak to the correct person to complain to. There's nothing worse than being passed around the houses before getting through to the right person.
* Recognise a complaint when it arrives. A complaint can be subtle - they may tell you very calmly, rather than shown in anger, but they are giving you an important message all the same. They may not tell you anything at all - but their actions make it clear something's not right. Better to find out there and then.
* Empathise. Think about the complaint from the customer's point of view - we've all complained at some point, or should have!
* Treat it as an opportunity. Individual complaints give you the chance to demonstrate your value the customer. See complaints as your chance to shine. Respond proactively and these customers will become your biggest fans. Make sure you get on the case quickly -- and turn the whole thing around in a way that befits the image you want to create.
* Spot the trends. A complaint may well be a one-off. Maybe not! Record all of your incoming complaints even if seems like a one-off, you never know, a trend might be emerging which you'll want to nip in the bud.
And of course make sure you've developed a mindset which embraces complaints - you might have the best sales operations in the world, but much of that can be in vain if you don't handle complaints properly.
It's all about sales psychology.
Until next time