You can line up DOMINOES in a beautiful pattern and spend hours doing it … but all you have to do to knock them all down is PUSH over the first one (the lead domino) and the rest will follow. The same is true about business. You can spend years and years building up a great business with a super reputation, and one employee can cause a customer to never do business with you again. One employee can PUSH a customer the wrong way and run them off … in other words, they knocked down one DOMINO. But could that one upset customer cause other customers to follow them?
In today’s society of instant global communication, one upset customer can put the story of your RIP-OFF out over the Internet … AWFUL SERVICE … UNFAIR TREATMENT … and seriously hurt your business. PUSHING the one DOMINO can sometimes cause a whole lot of DOMINOES to fall … maybe all of them.
We found out today the appliance repairman who works for the company that has done ALL of our warranty work tried to pull a fast one on us – a $2,964 fast one. Before I spend that kind of money, I think a second opinion is in order. So we got the name of a really talented repairman who had done work for our neighbor and had him diagnose the problem. He said it would only cost $74.96 to fix the problem. He had it fixed in less than one hour.
We had purchased ALL our appliances for our home from the first repairman’s company and they had done ALL the previous small repairs for warranty work … but out of warranty – BANG! – time to soak the stupid consumer who has no idea what is wrong. That repairman is right. I don’t know about appliances, but I do know how to dial a phone. I do know how to go online and get other opinions. I do have neighbors who may have had similar problems.
Now, what damage has been done by the first repairman? TRUST has been destroyed. CONFIDENCE in what the first repairman (and his company) says is now a thing of the past. Will I ever do business with them again? No! There are a lot of other companies that sell and service appliances. Will I tell my friends about what happened? You bet I will. Will they believe me? They sure will. More customers will be lost because of what happened to just one customer.
Every single day, companies PUSH over dominoes (customers), not realizing the potential damage that might be caused. I would suggest you start handling every customer like they are that Lead Domino who can possibly knock them all down. If you handle your customers with the care and honesty they deserve, then you won’t have to worry about other dominoes falling (customers leaving).
Your customers aren’t obligated to do business with you. You need to assume your customers are always teetering, swaying, wavering … getting ready to fall over (go somewhere else) if you push them the wrong way … and on their way down they might just knock over some other dominoes (customers) as well. Are there any DOMINO PUSHERS in your company? You better hope not.
Robert Stevenson is a highly sought after, internationally known speaker. He is the author of the best-selling books How to Soar Like an Eagle in a World Full of Turkeys and 52 Essential Habits for Success. Robert is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and is a former All-American Athlete. He started his first business at 24 and has owned several companies. Robert has international sales experience dealing in over 20 countries and his client list reads like a Who’s Who in Business. He has shared the podium with such renowned names as Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf, Former President George H.W. Bush, Anthony Robbins, and Steven Covey. www.robertstevenson.org/
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