Monday, July 8, 2024

Serve First, Sell Second (if at all)

Recently I needed to contact my local cable company. I had issues with my service and billing.  Inevitably these calls led to offers to save me money, provide me more channels for no additional charge, or to give me other “benefits.” I politely cut off such missives. I stated and restated that I simply wanted my problem solved. That was it. The fact that I needed to follow up repeatedly on multiple issues tells you that the individuals I contacted with couldn’t even solve my problems. Yet the sales pitches continued.

When I’m frustrated because I have a problem, the last thing I want is more of what is causing the problem in the first place. Why the company would think I could be placated by offering me more channels is beyond my comprehension. That’s like a restaurant offering discounts on future food purchases after I’ve had an unpleasant dining experience. Why would I want to return even for a half-priced entrĂ©e if the food and/or service sucked?

I’d be in a much better frame of mind if my cable company focused on serving me by solving my problem rather than selling me. Better still, offer me additional benefits at no charge (not now, not ever).  Apologize for my problems with their service, their inability to address them on the first call, AND reward my many years of being a loyal customer.

In short, serve first--meet the customer where they are. Give them what they say they want and need. Then, if appropriate, sell.

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