The Situation: How to Avoid Losing a Customer?
It’s not a good day for Craig, who sells electronic instruments to various industries. Today he’s meeting with Sonia, one of his customers, to discuss a regular monthly purchase. Craig is about to learn that he is on the verge of losing a customer.
Sonia reveals that her company is thinking of changing suppliers. It leads to this exchange:
|Sonia||I’m interested in MadeRite Electronics because we need to tighten our budget. Their prices are better across the board.|
|Craig||Ohh, Sonia. I’ve seen this over and over. MadeRite signs up new customers with lower prices, and within a year, the people who were taken in by them are so sorry.|
|Sonia||Well, I wouldn’t say I’m being “taken in.” We’ve had good discussions. I’m still checking them out.|
|Craig||Did you discover that their promises don’t hold up? I just don’t want to see you burned by late shipments, price hikes, significant product failure . . . I could go on.|
|Sonia||I don’t know about that. Look, I’ve talked with my boss, and he feels good about them, too.|
What’s a More Constructive Response to Avoid Losing a Good Client?
You probably wonder how Craig didn’t see this coming — that Sonia would even be talking with another supplier. However, let’s put that problem aside to focus on Craig’s reaction. Even if everything Craig says about MadeRite is true, how would a Q4 response have been more productive in retaining this good customer?