In the fast paced, cut throat world of corporate sales, there was one basic rule that was applied time and time again. It was simple yet effective. And not only was it relevant to “closing deals” but what measured good, reliable customer service.
And that’d be?
“Know your customer…”
Do your research on your patrons. Look through the database, check their past history in dealings with your company. Figure out their needs and requirements THEN base your sales proposition on what they would, you know, be interested in buying from you.
There were a few metaphors I’d use to get this point across:
”Would you try to fit a circle through a square?”
“Would you try to sell condoms to the Pope?”
Getting disgruntled with my gym’s hefty fees and little returned benefit, I tried to defeat the impossible and terminate my membership.
(Why do these bloody gyms make it so goddamn hard? It’s like trying to unsubscribe from spam mail…)
I finally filled out and submitted the 10 gazillion forms.
Then of course was the imminent phone call from the concerned “Branch Manager”
After some polite exchanges, we finally got down to the nitty gritty. She asked why I wanted to end my membership. I told her the truth.
She told me to hold.
*Cue high energy doof doof Body Attack gym class music*
A minute or so later she returned to the phone.
“We’d love you to stay, Grace.”
“Well, how about you give me a new towel, backpack and waterbottle?” I answered flatly.
I credit my mother for my ruthless negotiation skills.
Again, she told me to hold.
*Cue more pumped up body attacking gym music*
“Sorry, Grace…I can’t offer you a new backpack. But…”
“Oooh! Oooh! A towel and waterbottle? Yes please!” I excitedly thought to myself.
“I can offer 5 free passes…to our Solarium…”
I could’ve sworn I misheard her…
“Sorry? 5 free passes to???”
“You know, our Solarium…and you…” she didn’t get to finish her sentence because I had no choice but to quickly intervene.
“Um, sorry. Have you looked in your database? Have you seen what I look like???”
At which point, I’m sure a photo similar to this popped up on her screen.
Maybe without the “deer in headlight” look but no change on that shade of cocoa brown.
A few moments of radio silence was followed by the sound of quick tapping on a computer.
“Oh…” came the reply.
She saw the photo…boom!
“Yeah. Exactly. I’m pretty certain I don’t need a tan…”
“Ah, yes. You’re right. No…Ah, sorry” her timid voice faded into the oblivion.
“Okay, then. Bai bai…”
And that my friends, was (hopefully) an important lesson for that Branch Manager to “do her homework” and “get to know her customer” before she picked up the phone again.
Seriously, people. I implore you. Do me a solid and tell me the truth:
Do I LOOK like I need a tan???
Joining the gang at The Lounge sharing valiant customer service tales.
Thanks to Tegan at Musings of the Misguided for hosting!