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Guaranteed way to lose a customer – A bad impression that keeps on giving.

Bad Impressions? Seems like a weird topic for a blog post huh? Well we have recently made appreciation part of our daily activities and our culture and truly believe that other businesses or even do it yourself landlords can benefit from reading about our learning experiences.

We have learned this lesson the hard way unfortunately. But we take every moment to try to improve and be better and having an experience like this did just that for us! A while back signed on a new Salt Lake City rental property owner, took over management for their rental property, and were fired by that same client all within two weeks! You can imagine this was quite a shock to us, as it has never happened so abruptly like that. When we took a look at all of the interactions and the entire process to find out what really happened, we found a few things worth sharing that can help other businesses and those in customer service! Which we all are right?

Once bad impressions happen, you don’t get a chance to make a good one!

You have heard the saying; you only get one first impression! Well that is absolutely true, but what no one talks about is that your chances to make bad impressions…. Are literally infinite. From the perspective of psychology when you interact with your client and they have positive experiences it builds a reservoir of goodwill and trust. And failing or making mistakes depletes that reservoir by each poor experience. However, if you make a bad impression during that early relationship, no matter how much goodwill and trust you have in that reservoir that client will more than likely still be dissatisfied and think poorly of you and your company. Even if the good outweighs the bad, the client more than likely has a bad taste in their mouth.

But you know what, we are all human, and bad days do happen…. As well as just bad luck. Mistakes happen, regardless of what industry you are in. The most important part in any of it, is how your staff and team respond when there is a ball dropped, failure happens, or a mistake takes place. It is also a perfect opportunity to analyze your processes and policies to see where you can ensure no other client has to experience that again. Complaints are not problems, they are opportunities! Patterns are also a key indicator of which staff member may need more training, which process needs improving, or if you began a relationship with a client you never should have in the first place. More often than not it is the first two, but on a rare occasion the third one really does happen and it was a recipe for disaster. No matter how your office or company is set up, there should always be trackable communication, tasks, checks and balances, and enough information for all team members to succeed and reduce the chances of a bad impression happening with a client.

 

Psychology behind bad impressions and disappointments.

When this particular client parted ways, they left behind a list of disappoints and complaints. Some of them absolutely were legitimate where we dropped the ball and there was a failure in utilizing our systems that were put in place.

However, some of the items on this list were just out right false. With our documentation and systems to verify this. The point for this statement is for a couple of reasons – not to place any blame on the client, but to not allow that client to continue thinking false things about their experience, and to have a valuable lesson learned. When someone has a bad taste in their mouth, sometimes the facts about what transpired no longer matter. They will often believe and feel that things were actually a lot worse than they really were. That is a relationship that is not usually repairable. You are not able to change someone’s mind about their whole hearted opinion and feeling. And they absolutely have the right to feel the way that they do, but it is also our duty to ensure we correct any false thinking or statements regarding what actually transpired. While it may not win them back over…. As this rarely ever works in politics and religion, it is important to clarify for them what is true and what is not while still being compassionate to their feelings and poor experience and taking responsibility for the situations, or items that you need to.

Just remember – you have multiple opportunities to make bad impressions, and some of those can deplete the reservoir so much that it won’t matter how many good ones you have or how many times you try to make things right before that client is out the door..

bad impressionThere are many ways in business where you can create polices, processes, and team training to avoid situations like these as much as possible! If you are a business owner and would like help with improving your clients experience give us a call or send us an email – while we may be in different industries, often times that can help give us a fresh perspective on how you may able to create incredible customer service and a grade A experience for all of your clients, all of the time!

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