How many times have you made a great presentation to a highly qualified client only to have them tell you “I’ll think about it” or “I’ll let you know?” How often do you enjoy a great conversation with someone for whom your company is a great fit, only to hear that they’re “gonna check out a few more companies before hiring someone?”
What’s going on? Well some of it is obviously human nature and part of business. But I am willing to guess that a substantial reason you run into the scenarios I’ve described might be your Customer Experience.
Now, I don’t mean your work. I am sure that if you are reading this article you and your team are experienced, skilled professionals. I am talking about what actually is experienced by the prospective customer when they contact you.
I believe that a large part of sales resistance is caused by service providers not paying attention to the entire Customer Experience.
Let me give you an example:
I have loose bricks on my garage. Not a large, multi-million dollar project but some substantial work that obviously needs a professional.
I researched masonry contractors in my area. I contacted four different companies that advertised that they did this exact work as their specialty. Their websites showed very impressive portfolios i.e. historic renovation, small jobs with structures in much worse condition than mine or even work at the university my daughter attends. All four had excellent online or referral reviews too. One firm even asked me to email pics of the damage (which I provided within the hour).
That was a week ago. Not one of the four called me back.
I am sure that each one of these firm’s owners will tell you that they provide “great customer service”. But when does the Customer Experience begin?
As a service professional (and this goes for doctors, lawyers, plumbers and more) the ONLY thing you have that you can deliver prior to the completion of the work is a great Customer Experience. And the Customer Experience begins long before you make any sales call.
In my example, I am a qualified customer. I own the structure. I have the money in-hand to pay for the work. And I am calling asking for the work to be performed. But now, if any of these firms does decide to call me back, I may find myself falling into the “we’ll check around some more and give you a call” behavior.
Why? My Customer Experience. The lack of response from these contractors has diminished my perception of their ability to effectively meet my needs and has caused doubt about their professionalism and reliability. If any one of these companies had taken the time and attention to respond they’d stand out from the others and probably earn my business.
Where are you missing the chance to “wow” the customer? I would strongly urge you to examine and test your entire Customer Experience from start to finish.
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