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Why so many businesses fail
Is crappy CS the main reason?
Wlauzon




msg:3828163
 11:09 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I plucked this snippet from another thread here about handling bad customers, but I think it goes far beyond that.
.. just saying that inaction (99.99% of the time) is absolutely the wrong solution...

We are a small company, only a dozen people or so. But we buy over $8,000,000 a year from various vendors, distributors, etc. Many of those are competing with each other selling the same or similar products.

The #1 reason why we buy from one vendor vs another one is ... INACTION...

Failure to respond to emails, or to return calls, or far too often - failure to do anything at all to even let us know that they got our message or call or whatever.

And recalling my own buying habits - whether online or in a "real" store, I do the same thing.

We have found that quite often responding to an email - even if the original sender is asking about something you don't have a clue about - will generate sales. In short, telling them you don't carry that item is better than no response at all.

 

Wlauzon




msg:3831201
 12:35 pm on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Though I focused my original thoughts on emails, it is not just emails. As I pointed out, it is also phone calls returned (lack of), and even mail not answered. And I would note that much of the never answered emails are from forms on their websites, not just email links.

While I agree that much of the email problem comes from the actions of spammers, that I think also comes under the heading of "inaction".

The point about not using gmail and other spam ridden sources is so obvious that you would think anyone with a computer would know it, yet we still see a few vendors using it. I mean, if nothing else, get a $6 a month cheap website and set up email on that with a real domain name.

You would think that with the economy the way it is going that companies would be MORE responsive, but in many cases I am seeing just the opposite. Perhaps they laid off all the "non essential" people, like CS....

gpilling




msg:3831229
 1:26 pm on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

From the original post :
We are a small company, only a dozen people or so. But we buy over $8,000,000 a year from various vendors, distributors, etc. Many of those are competing with each other selling the same or similar products.

The #1 reason why we buy from one vendor vs another one is ... INACTION...

I have had the same experience this week - a phone call to one of my suppliers, a conversation about a $10,000 order and then he has failed to email the required information to me. Lucky for me (and bad for him) I have another supplier that really wants my business. This is not an email from Nigeria - this was a phone conversation with a regular supplier!

I used to run a manufacturing company and it always amazed me that I could spend an hour talking to a salesperson about a piece of equipment, only to have them never follow up on it and try to get my money. If I have to beg them to sell it to me, what will the after sale service be like?

trinorthlighting




msg:3831339
 3:33 pm on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would honestly say that some websites/companies/manufacturers just do not have enough business to support themselves staffing wise.

On the other side of the coin, I once had a manufacturer turn me away because they had too much business and were running their production line at 100% capacity. (Good problem for them, bad for us)

Then again, it is a fact of life that you have to monitor and manage employee's properly. That does not happen a lot in bigger corporations where sales people feel they are stuck in a dead end job.

HugeNerd




msg:3831468
 5:39 pm on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would honestly say that some websites/companies/manufacturers just do not have enough business to support themselves staffing wise.

This is certainly true as of late with the hard economic times. I know of many companies in our industry who are running skeleton crews for the past few months.

Is/will CS [be] an important and easy way to differentiate yourself from competition what with price hunting customers and the potential for deflation or stagflation looming in the future?

skibum




msg:3838317
 4:54 pm on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I get 1-3 emails a day wanting to buy large quanities of products and just delete them, why I do it if someone wants to buy large orders I feel they would call me not just an email that may go into a spam folder.

Seems like the business must not be needed/wanted very badly. Why not even go after potential large orders just because the person sent an email instead of trying to call?

Sometimes the quality of the lead from an email usually sucks but many times those are some of the most qualified leads coming from people who are short on time, prefer not to have to deal with a salesey sales rep who doesn't know what they are talking about and figure the best way to get answers to the questions they need answered is to put it in writing.

JohnRoy




msg:3841762
 4:13 am on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Always respond to emails that have a chance to bring in revenue.

You can save some canned messages, and edit top 2-3% for the specific needs of the inquiry.

aspdaddy




msg:3843395
 11:33 pm on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am dealing with a comapany that when offered potential 6 figure lead said no thanks - would have to mess around credit checking them & it would be too much hassle and they might not pay.

I think some sectors have become so competitive that the cost per aquisition leaves very little margin to the extent new businesses can be a hassle, and in this recession, more risk than existing customers.

I close b2b online enquires around 70%. A two stage form is even higher, if the person takes the trouble to send all the info they are serious - I would treat emails the same as online enquiries. I guess it depends on the competition and sales process though, if you are deleting email enquiries then the sales process has broken down.

incrediBILL




msg:3843407
 12:02 am on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seems like the business must not be needed/wanted very badly. Why not even go after potential large orders just because the person sent an email instead of trying to call?

The problem is the nigerians (and some others) used to do the large order scam and get someone so excited about the new business they'd process the CC and ship the order just to find, much to their horror, that it was a fraud when the chargeback came.

How we used to handle it was to simply require a wire transfer before we shipped the order because no amount of credit checking can stop a chargeback, some of the stories I could tell you.

One simple example:

Even with UPS insurance and requiring a signature, a receptionist signed, package delivered, UPS won't pay. Customer claimed the package never arrived although receptionist signed. Did a chargeback, money gone.

Crap like that, in a nutshell, is why businesses are skittish of the big sale.

JohnRoy




msg:3845118
 7:23 pm on Feb 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

another simple expample:

This was with Paypal on a site I was involved in.
Customer did a chargeback.
Customer later acknowledged via phone he did receive it (but forgot when contacting paypal).
The package was delivered via UPS.
The tracking status was not updated in the online ups system. (happens some of the time for any technical reason).
Paypel requires you ship via an "online traceable" shipper.
Money gone.

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