When customers can’t get what they ordered promptly, they are likely to go elsewhere.
Whatever complaints customers might have about Amazon, they usually do an amazing job of delivering customers’ orders by the promise date, often before that date, even when customers aren’t Prime members. That’s one reason customers buy from them again and again, despite sometimes feeling they are dealing with the “Evil Empire.”
Amazon identified a key irritation of customers and exploited it as an opportunity with prompt, mostly free delivery.
When customers shop for a product or service, they are often “in heat” and ready to buy. If they can’t find it from one source, they’ll probably seek it somewhere else. If they can’t find it soon, their desire could just cool off, and they’ll forget about it.
Phone calls should be returned promptly or the caller should be told when to expect a return call. Then fulfill that commitment.
When I worked at a big CPA firm, I often heard customers complain, “I can’t get my tax return completed promptly at your company.” I came to understand, SPEED IS QUALITY in the client’s eyes, so I resolved to deliver tax returns within a week after receiving complete information from a client. For a while, I guaranteed meeting that goal and waived the fee if it wasn’t met.
How many times have you gone to a hospital’s “Emergency Room” or to a doctor’s office and waited for hours? Patients’ time is often totally disrespected. What if you were taken care of within 15 minutes after arrival? Would that change your relationship with that hospital or doctor? Would you be more likely to recommend the hospital or doctor to friends or family members?
Businesses can be so successful with their marketing for new products or services that they are backordered, frustrating potential customers who might look for alternatives.
One approach to defusing this issue is to manage customer’s expectations. “I’m sorry, that item isn’t available, right now. We can’t ship it until the 15th of next month. Is that OK with you?” The customer might still look for alternatives, but will know what to expect.
The “take away selling” approach is to say “Limited supply available. Order yours now or you might have to wait.” Note that rabid Apple iPhone customers line up when new models are released to avoid being backordered.
Having otherwise excellent marketing and disappointing customers can backfire and kill a business.
Would you like a sounding board for building a business that customers love and that you can be proud of? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s schedule an initial chat.