Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Whether Confucius said it or George Bush mangled it, it’s still pretty clever.
Ms. Jones will only let you fool her once. That’s not to say that you can’t resolve her problems successfully, because you can –and she’ll be more loyal than ever when you do. But if she has a problem that you don’t resolve, watch out. She won’t let the door hit her on the backside on her way out, and she’ll probably already have her cell phone in her hand.
What are your Top 10 customer problems? What could you do, once and for all, to end these recurrences? Could your communications be more timely and accurate so that Ms. Jones actually expects her special order to take as long as it does? Should you adjust your delivery hours so she doesn’t have to take time off work? How about internal problems? Could you more clearly communicate sales results so no one is surprised when it’s time to settle their draw? Do you have a policy manual?
Are you letting yourself be fooled twice? If you have a pat answer for common complaints, it’s time to ask, “Who’s the fool?”