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Is Your Service…..And Particularly Your Phone Service...….Lifeline…..Strangling Your Future…..?

June 14, 2017

By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc.

We only use your company when we don’t have other supplier options…….we can’t afford the administrative hassles caused by your late… and too often incorrect invoices”…..….Director of Purchasing, speaking candidly to the Sr. Account Executive …and…. his President, during a Periodic Business Review.

INTRODUCTION:

A few questions --- just to warm-up your bloodstream:

1. How many customers called last month to correct an invoice ( that they had not yet processed, or paid)? (Do you have major customers who expect basic administrative  issues --- to be correct?)

2. How many incoming calls --- did your phone system reject last month, because the phone lines were busy? (Your phone company can provide that information….and  should be glad to do so.)

3. Are you aware that your customer organizations have downsized to the point that younger, inexperienced buyers are starting before 8:00, and working well past 5:00 --- to get their work done?      

From that background, do you:

Accessibilitya. Insist that someone, experienced --- be available to answer calls as early as 7:30 am…?.

b. Insist that someone, experienced --- be available to answer calls as late as 6:00 pm…?

c. Insist that an experienced, courteous person cover your Receptionist position --- when key personnel are out --- for a break, or lunch…or really….. any reason…?

d. Train…and retrain….key phone personnel for how to handle “Angry or Upset customers”? (That just happens to be a critical moment --- in the future life….between every supplier--- and every customer.)

4. Who, in senior management --- checks the identity of every caller, who’s not a current customer, or making a “sales call” to your company?  Better --- who in senior management takes all calls --- that are not from a customer or supplier? Do you know who your well-meaning Receptionist told, “I’m so sorry, we don’t do that here.”….Do you know why they called? Buying Print is not easy, and many major companies are steadily, quietly --- on the prowl --- for a better supplier.

How many introductions can you earn --- by helping someone --- who just needed to know who to contact… ..……for something you don’t supply?

SUMMARY:

Frankly, I’m a bit depressed over the number of times I call a client at 8:02, or 15 minutes after 5:00, only to hear voicemail.

I’m a bit depressed over the number of times I’m referred to a voicemail --- and when sent to that person’s voicemail  --- it’s NOT the voicemail requested….or worse….the call is dropped.

However, there was that member of one of our CEO Peer Groups --- who listened, went back to his company, and then at the next Peer Group Meeting reported, with a sheepish smile on his face…. that, “I’m averaging….’One qualified prospective customer…..a day’…!.”

“All wish to possess knowledge, but few, comparatively speaking, are willing to pay the price.”…….Juvenal

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