A Good Sale Gone Bad

Take one well-known voice, data and internet giant. Add a happy, existing customer. Mix in a smart, new consolidation offer at an attractive price. Book a sale! Now, how do you go from that ideal ending to a formerly happy, existing customer threatening to cancel an account?


Look Beyond The Sale
It happens all the time. Why? Because the sale isn’t the ending for customers. It’s actually the beginning of a new relationship tied to the purchase. And too often, it fails. In this case—my own—the service installers subcontracted for the job didn’t complete it. They were running late and took some shortcuts. Our service didn’t work properly. They wouldn’t respond when we tried to contact them for help. (Hmmm . . . the snake oil salesman slinking out of town under cover of darkness?) They took 10 days before returning my calls.

This kind of customer “care” sullies an otherwise great experience. It’s as if the company is saying that it doesn’t care about me once it has my money. Don’t leave your customers regretting their decisions to buy because the after-sale experience falls short.

Love Thy Customer

  • As marketing or sales professionals, we should visualize every step of the customer experience, including those we’re not directly involved in. Even those that get subbed out!
  • Maintain control over or awareness of those steps and provide your colleagues with input where you feel the buyer’s point of view might be overlooked.
  • For all the money, time and effort invested in strategy, planning, creative and production, the customer’s last experience is the one they’ll remember most (and these days, instantly share online with millions—think Comcast).
  • Getting customers back can end up costing more than what you put into the upfront sale.
  • Fostering great service and customer goodwill is vital for future company sales—and your growing income.

Make your effort a complete success—one that locks in sales and customer satisfaction.


Contact Liz Manning at liz@thesmartermessage.com