There is no playbook for doing business in a pandemic. People are out of work or simply stuck and home and feeling low. Paychecks are being slashed or are nonexistent – and people are already missing payments. At this rate, it is only going to get worse.
Now, if you are the company looking at this crisis thinking, “Gotta get what’s mine.” You will fail. Being a hostile force and kicking people when they are down will not only damage your customer relationships…it will destroy your reputation and lose your business.
Don’t make this massive mistake! Instead, establish yourself as a partner or friend.
Let me share an anecdote – I missed my tax payment on my house (an honest oversight given everything going on). The county assessor was very understanding and forgiving. They showed empathy. However, Citibank responded by employing imperious language and delivering FINAL WARNINGS. I’ve been a Citibank member for years, and yet, when I make a mistake, they threaten to throw the book at me. Clearly, my loyalty means nothing to them, and this punitive treatment leaves me wanting to take my business elsewhere.
When you turn against your customers, you lose them very quickly. The data shows companies with zero-tolerance for what their customers are going through are getting 93% negative feedback from customers who HATE them now.
However, by putting effort into helping your customers when they need it, by waiving a late fee or interest charge, extending the payment terms, or even forgiving the payment – the numbers flip.
You can gain loyalty and trust by establishing yourself as a valuable partner and friend in difficult times. The benefit of that customer loyalty will far outweigh the cost of forgiveness.
Avoid being a jerk — it’s the biggest business mistake that you can make.
Has this happened to you or your loved ones? Comment below and let us know what business mistakes you are seeing companies making right now!
Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect & Founder of The Women’s Code, a training company specialized in providing companies an ROI on Balanced Leadership. She has been named one of 50 must-follow women entrepreneurs by the Huffington Post. A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, she bootstrapped her passion for photography into a highly-successful global business and eventually sold it to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal.
Beate works with business leaders and supports organizations by developing and providing training the training, tools, and expertise to create and maintain a balanced, equal, and inclusive work environment that fosters creativity, employee engagement, and corporate growth.
Recent clients include Merck, Women’s Legislative Caucus of California, Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), NFTE, CreativeLive, the Association of Corporate Growth, and TracyLocke.
Beate is the author of the #1 International Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome” a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.
To book Beate to speak or train please connect here.