For years in my talks, writings, and books I’ve preached the absolute imperative for businesses to focus on developing and maintaining lifetime relationships with their customers and clients.
I’m a skeptic. And I’m always testing. So it’s not unusual for me to place a smaller order with a company, to see how well they perform. If they do well, they get the big order. If they do poorly, I move on.
That’s exactly what happened recently when I placed my first order with a local franchise of a national blinds company.
A competent salesman came to the home. We chatted, talked about various projects I wanted to tackle. We talked about pricing and delivery. In keeping with my testing approach, I ordered two blinds – one for the bedroom and the other for my home office.
As predicted, in about three weeks I received a call telling me they were ready. We set a date for the installation.
As good as the salesman was, the installer was just the opposite.
He installed the blinds and they’re fine. But the overall experience was far from pleasant. Mostly, that had to do his clumsiness. (Not a good trait for an installer.) When he unpacked the office blind, it came in direct contact with the ceiling fan. I yelled. Fortunately, he backed off before any damage could be done.
He also stepped on some ceramic floor tiles in the hallway, loosening grout and a couple of tiles. (They probably could have used work to begin with, but it suddenly became an urgent project.)
After he left, I called the office and explained what happened. The person who answered said she’d tell the owner. Two weeks passed. I didn’t hear from the owner. I posted a review on Facebook. I spoke well about what went well, but told the installation story much as I related it here.
Whether or not he was privy to what transpired, the thing that confounds me is that I never heard back from the salesman. He knew there was a second and larger sale waiting in the wings.
Had he called, I would have shared my story. He would have consoled me and told me he’d personally supervise the next installation or he would make sure they sent someone different. Above all, I would have known they cared.