In Part 2 I focused on the MAD emotion and the negative impact it can have on your business. The next emotion is sad. This could be described as disappointment, feeling let down or even discouraged. A world where expectations are so high is a natural breeding ground for disappointment. The sad emotion is certainly not as devastating as the mad emotion, but still it doesn’t help your cause.
I have a passion for Chinese food. It drives my wife crazy. She knows if we’re going out to lunch or dinner what I’ll want to eat. I love it! I’ve eaten Chinese food in every state in the USA and every province in Canada. I’ve travelled every inch of Great Britain and I’ve eaten it there as well. I even ate Chinese food in Wales. You can’t imagine how difficult it is to find great Chinese food in Wales. I recall one time I was in Denver Colorado for a few days on business. At a meeting the subject of Chinese food came up. Like a German Sheppard so did my ears. This chap told me of a restaurant that he claimed made the best Chinese food in the USA. He too had travelled a lot, making his case more credible to me. I took notes as he enthusiastically gave me directions to get there. I guess you can tell where my priorities are.
That day, based in large part on his glowing recommendation I could not stop thinking about Chinese food. I ate less at lunch in anticipation of the smorgasbord of my dreams. When the meetings were over I drove off in my rental car. I don’t need to tell you where I was heading. As I drove I could feel myself salivating, in anticipation of the meal of my life. When I arrived and during the meal the service wasn’t bad or good it was mediocre. So was the food. It was OK but I’ve had better.
As a result I wasn’t angry, but I was disappointed. The service and the food did not meet my expectations. I didn’t complain and I didn’t have a temper tantrum. On my drive back to the hotel I did know one thing and that was that I wouldn’t go back. Customers have a simple way to express their disappointment. They don’t go back. Isn’t that what you do? I didn’t go on a mission to bad mouth their mediocre food and service. However I would not enthusiastically recommend the restaurant to my friends and business associates. What would you do?
Every day in businesses across North America customers are sad. Most times if you’re not careful, you don’t know about it. This is another silent killer in the service business. It has been my experience that on average a sad customer, disappointed in your service will cost you five sales over a two year period. You can’t afford to lose these potential customers in any economy, but it is even more relevant now. When you crystallize your service strategy you’ll need to design and implement an effective plan so that the sad emotion is not another silent killer in your business.
The scared emotion is a feeling. The feeling of being manipulated or pressured is rarely a pleasant one. Organizations desperate for sales have taught others tactics and tricks. Sales people and service providers have been taught power closes and how to overcome a customer’s objections. For every client objection they reason, that there must be an answer. They learn trial closes and secondary question closes. The reality is some of these manipulative approaches work for the short term, but over the long term, have negative consequences. It’s hard to get a referral from a customer who believes you tricked or pressured them. Another challenge in world predominated by short term thinking.
The mad, sad and scared emotions are impediments in the pursuit of service excellence. The scared emotion creates another challenge. With three emotions working against you can you see how the odds are stacked against you? I don’t want to be a bearer of bad news but a bad truth is better than a good lie. You need to know what you’re up against.
I have worked in and designed programs for many sales driven organizations. In terms of business sales makes the world go around. I’ll share some real life examples of dramatic sales improvements later. Increased sales are the key to your growth and very survival. What many people don’t realize is that the road to increased sales is paved by service excellence. That’s what these articles are all about. Your sales success will not be driven by scared customers. Scared customers, like sad customers don’t come back. Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you in my next article.