Recently I was chatting with someone via text message about an experience they had with a business. The conversation lasted about 30 minutes. It appears, from what I understand, that this person ordered a service, the vendor delivered the service and it was not up to expectations. The result was an ensuing phone call, a series of emails, and more phone calls. At no point did the vendor offer to meet in person.
Well, I can’t answer why. But I can tell you that I do no that no meeting took place and because no meeting took place, it’s clear to me that there was no true resolution, at least from the customer’s perspective.
We can’t dissect whether it’s the customer’s fault or the vendors fault for not requesting the meeting. But when I look at this from the perspective of referrals, here’s what I do know.
- The customer is no longer using the vendor for specific services
- The customer does not feel that the situation was resolved to their satisfactory
- The customer does not see the vendor in a positive light
- The customers in the past, has referred others to the vendor
- The customer will not refer others in the future to the vendor
I don’t know for certain if meeting in person would have resolved the issues, but there is a much greater chance that it would, so why not try?
In this case, it’s clear to me that the vendor was not interested or did not see the value in meeting in person. Perhaps the vendor no longer wanted to do business with the customer, but if this person is telling me about this experience, then you bet they are telling others about it as well!
Communication is so important in service based businesses and that means having difficult conversations with clients sometimes to understand where they are coming from and let them know where you are coming from. When there is an absence of in person meetings then you risk escalating the issue even more, and resulting in less referrals for your service-based business.
Be proactive when it comes to having these meetings, as that pro-activity or lack thereof will result in the number of referrals that you get in your business.