What’s your service like, after the sale?

Do your clients cringe at the thought of calling in to your service number? Sunday night, as I was pulling down our window shade, the right side string broke, and the weight of the unsupported slats brought the entire blind down. Fearing the worst, I called Levolor first thing Monday morning to inquire about repair costs. Fully prepared to go into battle with what I thought would be an overseas customer service department, I was pleasantly surprised when my call was answered by a real live human named Donna, within a ring or two of the phone.

Tip 1: Call your client or customer service number — how long does it take you to get through to a representative? If you grow impatient, imagine how your clients feel.

Donna then quickly looked up my account, all based off of a little tag on the inside of our window shade. She knew when it was made, when it was bought (by the previous homeowner) and based off of that little tag, which window it belonged to.

Tip 2: Do your systems work this fast? Or do you make clients go through hoops validating who they are?

I explained the problem to Donna, and she told me the repair charge was $25. All I had to do was mail in the blind, and they’d do the rest. Not bad – sounded like a fair price to me. While she was writing up the repair order, I chatted with Donna about her weekend. I must have made an impression as Donna informed me she’d waive the repair fee and the return mail charge — again, all I had to do was ship the blind.

Tip 3: Are your client services staff empowered to make impressionable decisions? $25 isn’t a lot, and I was fully prepared to pay it. But her change made my Monday. And we all know what Monday’s could be like…

Your “after the sale” service is often what makes or breaks your business. It also has a dramatic effect on the referrals you get.

Are you doing everything you can to get the sale, only to fall flat afterwards? Or are you like Levolor, which just made me a client for life?

Brian Farrell is a coach, helping clients achieve their personal and professional goals. He's also the creator of the "QA2 Method". For more about Brian, visit bfarrell.com