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How to really disappoint a customer but delight them
Blog / For Sales Pros / Dec 4, 2017 / Posted by Roy Osing / 6815

How to really disappoint a customer but delight them


“Thanks so much for screwing me around. I enjoyed the customer experience and will support you forever”.

Ever had a customer say this after they have been royally abused by your organization and are screaming in your face?

You missed the promised delivery time. The product you sold them doesn’t work the way it should. The billing is wrong.

Whatever the explanation behind the breakdown, through the customer’s eyes you, the salesperson, blew it.

What do you do?

First thing: do NOT tell them it’s not your sales job to deal with it, and that you will have the service department look into the matter (so you can get back to selling). This sends out a strong “I really don’t give a sh*t about your problem” message and sewers any chance of a successful recovery.

The most critical element of standout sales IS serving the customer no matter what, even though it might not immediately contribute to your sales quota. Passing the matter on to ANYONE else is a blatant abrogation of sales’ responsibility.

This 3-step recovery process will actually turn your screamer into a crazy advocate of your organization who will “spread your word” more than if the OOPS! never happened in the first place.

  1. Take responsibility for what happened and apologize for the mess-up regardless of whether you’re at fault in your mind or not. Remember this: It’s NEVER the customer’s fault! If you think you can salvage the customer by reminding them they “never followed your policy”, you’re hallucinating.
    All they want to hear is that you regret the incident happened and that you intend to remedy the matter.
    If you can’t bring yourself to apologize for the situation, stop reading this article; you’re done and you can write off the customer relationship (and you should be fired).
  2. Take the lead and fix the screw-up fast. This is critical. A leisurely response will kill you. Studies have shown that you literally have 24 hours to repair the OOPS! and hold the customer; after that, you’ve blown it.
    Whatever the problem, you need to be the customer’s “champion on the inside” and muster all of the organization’s resources to solve the problem. And make sure the customer knows the ends you are going to on their behalf.
  3. Do the unexpected. This is the key step. Every customer expects you to fix your screw up; they give you a “C” on your customer report card when you do.
    But generally what they don’t expect is a little something extra to “atone for your sins”. This is where you can earn an “A” on your report card and actually enhance their loyalty.
    Go the extra mile. Do something special that the customer isn’t looking for.
    But make it personal because if you merely throw your “trash and trinkets” at them it will be perceived as cheap and in-genuine.
    Find out something that reflects their individual tastes and play to that. If she loves going to the movies go there. If he is a cabernet sauvignon nut go there.
    The critical thing is that the customer feels like you have gone out of your way to make THEM feel special after the way they have been treated.

Sales leadership in the middle of a service meltdown is crucial to build long term loyalty.

Be that salesperson who has the greater good in your mind and heart.

Pipeliner CRM empowers salespeople to delight customers. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.

About Author

Roy Osing is a former president, CMO and entrepreneur with over 40 years of successful and unmatched executive leadership experience in every aspect of business. As President of a major data and internet company, his leadership and audacious ‘unheard-of ways’ took the company from its early stage to $1 Billion in annual sales. He is a resolute blogger, keen content marketer, dedicated teacher and mentor to young professionals. As an accomplished business advisor, he is the author of the no-nonsense book series ‘BE DiFFERENT or be dead.’ He is devoted to inspiring leaders, entrepreneurs and organizations to stand apart from the average boring crowd and achieve their true potential.

Author's Publications on Amazon

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It's getting tougher to develop a winning formula in today's business world. Competition is fierce. Customers are demanding, fickle and unpredictable and employees are looking for insightful and caring leadership. In response, extreme energy in most organizations is spent on trying to develop the "perfect"…
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Marketing 101 is in serious trouble. Its effectiveness is extremely limited. If you are practising traditional text book marketing, this book is your wake-up call. You are subjecting your organization to extreme risk.
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The challenge facing a leader in today's highly volatile economy is formidable. It is to create an organization to Stand-Out NOT Fit-In. Companies that fail to break away from The Competitive Herd and establish themselves as Unique, Distinctive and Remarkable to their Fans fade away…
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BE DiFFERENT or be dead: The Audacious ‘Unheard-of Ways’ I Took a Startup TO A BILLION IN SALES provides practical and proven ways for organizations and professionals to be unique, stand out from their competition in a compelling, relevant way and achieve staggering success.
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Selected by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the top business books in the USA. The Challenge for any Business Leader is to harness the energy from all parts of their organization to work in unison to win in their market. In practical and…
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Want to take your career to another level? Achieve greater success in a world where the competition for a fast track route to success is fierce? Roy Osing’s 30+ years in business taught him one simple truth: if you are not DiFFERENT, if you are…
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