Ever had a customer service person quote you their “company policy” when you were trying to get the company to help you with a problem? Do you think those policies were originally put in place to specifically prevent the company from helping their customers? Sometimes it feels that way, doesn’t it?
What is your personal policy on company policies?
Do you think customers read all the fine print in your company’s contracts?
They are supposed to, right?
Many companies even have a section in their contract that requires the customer to sign-off on the fact they’ve read the contract. It’s not enough to agree to the terms, you also have to verify you’ve read everything in minute details, understand it, and agree to abide by it even if it’s not in your best interest down the road.
What can you do to simplify your company’s policies when it comes to helping customers?
Could you change your 4 page list of policies (aka the list of things you won’t do to help customers) into a single sentence that you could add in 30 point bold type in your contracts? why not tray something like this…
We promise to treat our customers fairly in all interactions (before, during, and after the sale) and we expect our customers to be fair with us as well.
If the next thought running through your head begins with the words “But what about…” then you’re missing the point.
Using the phrase “treat our customers fairly” doesn’t mean you have to concede every point in every instance, it means you have to see things from their perspective… to have empathy for their circumstance. And you expect them to do the same for you.
Playing fair means trying to arrive at a Win-Win solution.
Resolving a problem when something goes wrong so that both sides lose a little bit and both sides win a little bit.
It means not sending away a customer so angry and upset that they will never do business with you again (and tell everyone else they know not to do business with you either)!
When it comes down to it, wouldn’t you be willing to share the blame with a customer in order to keep them a happy and loyal customer? This is one of those situations that fits the “do you want to win, or do you want to be right” philosophy.
Let’s say your customer absolutely ordered the wrong part from your company and is now calling you to remedy the problem.
Do you need to affix blame in order to fix the problem?
If so, then you are more interested in needing to be “right” and make the customer “wrong” than you are in helping your customer and continuing to win their confidence, win their trust, and win their business.
And that’s not a company policy any customer can live with for very long.