on the other hand you are not able to keep to the schedule, it is
better to inform him in the beginning. It makes sense to be honest from
start than be forced to cover up later. This might mean losing him today
but he may return another day where you are in a position to meet his
requirement. Customers develop respect and faith for a vendor who values his commitments to his profits.
You also have the satisfaction of not letting him down and landing with
a dissatisfied customer. A dissatisfied customer normally shares his
experience with an average of eight to ten people. So if you can get
referrals from satisfied customers you can also lose eight to ten times
the business due to one dissatisfied customer. Don't be tempted to
commit that you cannot keep.
Having committed it is not
always possible to keep up to it. If so, explain and keep the customer
updated at all stages. This means attention to him and not taking him
for granted. Call him before he calls you. It makes a big difference, as
it shows concern for his schedule. Explain the situation. He is now
aware of the effort you have put, in keeping your commitments. Maybe he
is in a position to help you with alternates.
If promised services are met
then, all is well. But if it is not then, it gets more embarrassing to
explain why and where it went wrong. This would lead to cover ups,
creating more problems and complications thus ensuring that the customer
gets away from you.
Your customer has scheduled his
activities based on your commitments. It is not always possible to keep
your schedules is understandable. But not informing him is unforgivable.
You could be jeopardising a chain of his activities and in the bargain
could be ensuring a slim chance of ending up with a satisfied customer.
Let's for a moment put ourselves in his place
Would we take such surprises quietly? What would be our reaction? Would we reschedule our activities?
The normal human reaction would be to get upset and angry.
-You might never believe this person again as he has let you down.
-I will delay his payment and let's see if he likes it.
-He should compensate me for the inconvenience.
If this is the normal reaction
then don't you think your customer would react similarly? This situation
warrants quick rectification. Call, explain and pacify the customer.
Who knows, he might understand and give you another opportunity.
Activities do not run on a
clockwork schedule. Innumerable problems are encountered involving a
chain reaction. But when you make a commitment give sufficient buffer
and stick to it. If you cannot keep up to a commitment then inform your
customer and explain. If you throw an unpleasant surprise at him he is
sure to get mad. Keep him informed and he would understand and
Try it. It works.