Why I had to move to your competitor

By Randi Busse

I am a customer who knows what I want. As it happens, I need the product or service that you offer. I don’t have to be “sold” because I’m ready to buy. At this moment, I’m considering buying from you. But I can change my mind and decide to buy from someone else because you’re not the only game in town. You have competitors, and they offer the same thing you do, and for a similar price. I’ve decided to give you a try. The sale is yours unless you blow it.

Here’s what happened:

  • I visited your showroom and proceeded to wander around by myself. No one ever approached me, even though several employees were standing around talking with each other the whole time I was there.
  • I arrived at your restaurant without a reservation. The hostess said there would be at least an hour wait, and made no suggestion that I consider waiting, for example, by having a drink at the bar.
  • I called your office and got voicemail. I left a message asking for a call back. It’s been three days now. No one ever called.
  • I walked around your big box store for 10 minutes before I found an employee. Of course, what I wanted wasn’t in his department, so he pointed me in the direction of the department “over there,” as if an invisible fence would deliver an electric shock if he left his territory to bring me there.

Unfortunately, you blew it.

We all know we are in the middle of a pandemic, unemployment is at an all-time high and the economy is in flux. That means that customers are cautious about the way they spend their money. I am too. But I am spending, and my decision not to spend money with your company had nothing to do with how much money I have. Instead, it had to do with the way your employees treated me when I wanted to buy what you were selling, but couldn’t find anyone interested in helping me to do that.

If you are like most companies, you are spending money to make your phones ring, to bring prospects to your doors, to make browsers click on your Facebook pages and shop your website. You offer what I want. So I visited your business or called you on the phone. But your employees didn’t make it easy for me to do business with you.

Customers who don’t get helped become someone else’s customer. Now more than ever, you want to keep the customers you have and attract new customers. If you don’t provide them with an easy way to do business with you and an engaged employee who wants to help me, they are moving on — to your competitor!

Randi Busse is a customer service speaker, trainer and author of “Turning Rants Into Raves: Turn Your Customers On Before They Turn On YOU!” workdevgroup.com

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