When was the last time you went through your process as a customer? Â For most people, it has been awhile. Â Here’s a worst-case scenario I just experienced that illustrates a number of good points.
I have a client in need of a database product. Â In the course of my evaluation of software, I went to the top software’s website. Â I’ll be nice and leave them anonymous. Â They have an on-line chat feature so I used it. Â Twice “Alex” greeted me and asked how he could help and twice while I was talking he hung up. Â I, thinking both times were software glitches, tried a third time. I got “Stephanie”. We got through her questions for me and she indicated I needed an account rep. Â Great. On to the next part of the process. Instead, the person who left me a voice mail was Alex. When I returned the call, I was told they couldn’t connect me to an account rep without the client name. When I questioned why they needed that, it was because they might already be in the system. Â Since they haven’t ever looked into a database product, I knew that wasn’t the case but when I said so, I was told I had no way of knowing that in a tone that sounded like he thought I was lying. Needless to say the call went downhill from there.
I did speak with another rep and when we talked about the client name piece, the second rep indicated that if they help a customer who is already assigned elsewhere, they don’t get the “credit”. Â And there is no way to reassign an account from one rep to another so if I want to talk to someone at this company, I have to work through Alex. Period. Â Oh -and just for fun – all the account reps and managers are in Vegas today at a sales kickoff meeting.
So basically a new customer calling in has to give their name, phone, company name, address, and email address so that the rep can see if they are in the computer and if they are, transfer them to someone else who may or may not be available. Â It is not in the best interest of the person who answers the phone to answer any questions the caller has because it may not be their account. Â And at the end of the day, they only get “credit” (I’ll translate as commission) for those accounts assigned to them. Â None of this takes the customer’s needs into account. AND THEY SELL SALES SOFTWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, I ask you – when was the last time you jumped through your sales process hoops as a customer? Â Do you set up road blocks or systems that encourage the wrong behaviors? Â Are people on an incentive plan to help customers or themselves? Â It is definitely time to take a look.