I wrote the other day about how the Olympic Ideals could be converted into better business practice by focusing more on the customer rather than going all out to secure a sale. I’m currently experiencing an example of very poor customer service, which is worth breaking down and sharing.
Having just set up my own marketing agency, I’m on the look out for other businesses that I can partner with. I need these companies to not only offer good value for money, but be reliable so that I can in confidence use them time and again. From my point of view, I’ll not be using these companies for myself, but on behalf of my clients, so if they screw up, I’m the one that looks stupid.
Graphic Design is something we do a lot at Carl Hancock Marketing and having been contracted to design some leaflets for a local complementary health centre, it was time to source a printing company that I could potentially use not once, but again and again. It started off well with them offering excellent pricing and with me being given a single point of contact, but it’s been downhill from there.
My account details weren’t emailed across, because my email address was taken down incorrectly, so I had to chase. The pricing then arrives with VAT added, which is not chargeable on leaflets. I call to correct them and have still not received the revised invoice. The proof took two days to be emailed across and with some changes submitted then took three days to be returned – again, I had to chase. We’re now on Sunday, nine days into this process and I’ve no idea when the leaflets are due to be delivered to me, which is nine days too long, especially when I explicated said I needed them on Friday. The person delivering the leaflets was expecting them tomorrow, so now I look like a fool.
I’m not sure if this printing company are generally a bit incompetent, whether they looked at an order for £180 and didn’t think it important, or maybe my ‘account manager’ was just having a bad week. Regardless of the reason, unfortunately, due to their poor customer service, I won’t use them again. If they’d done a good job, I’d have been happy to, which could have resulted in a lot of business for them.
There are many ways to get new business, but a sure-fire way of losing it is poor customer service. If you don’t get this fundamental right, all other marketing is going to be a waste of time and money.