Aha Moment Monday
My son shared with me an earlier situation where he high-tailed it on the bus during inclement weather and a jammed schedule to get to a watch store before their 9:00 p.m. closing. He arrived at 8:45 feeling grateful for sliding in on-time only for the shop personnel to advise they were choosing to close early and wouldn’t help. They suggested he could return the next day when the store re-opened. The next day wasn’t at all convenient for William and since the posted closing was 9:00 p.m., he asked for consideration and for the service he desired. The answer was still “no”.
It reminded me of how often we hear “Sorry, that item is out-of-stock.”
And considering that we build promotional campaigns where the item IS the message carrier, when the carrier isn’t available, it can send us back to the drawing board.
Out-of-stocks and closings are inevitable just like tides, eclipses and your phone battery dying. They can be disappointments but how they are handled is the difference between you turning away feeling unvalued OR becoming an ambassador for life.
Out-of-stocks and closings actually represent instant opportunities to share your brand promise.
Here’s what I mean.
If your request for inventory, for instance, is returned with a, “Sorry, that item is out of stock”, the responsibility is shifted back to you to start your buying process all over again, on your own accord.
If your request for inventory is returned with a, “Sorry, that item is out of stock however I see we have more coming in next Tuesday. Can you wait? If not, we have that item in two other colours if that’s a consideration. If you’d care to share why you chose this item, perhaps I can do a quick search here and see if there’s something else that might work even better for you.”
Aha – “Think long-term, day-to-day.” ~ William Mahood, Founder: VRSN
Every action – including every inaction – is a choice, and a reflection of your brand.
An employee wishing to close shop early might have been a necessity but the short-sighted attitude of offering an inconvenient alternative to the customer drove the customer away. And for how long? In William’s case, likely forever.
While bad news is tough to deliver and difficult circumstances may cause inconvenience, they are often your best opportunity to show what you’re made of.
Everyone knows life’s not perfect and possibly your immediate solutions might still not be enough to solve the problem or satisfy the customer at that time.
But good effort and positive intention demonstrates that you’re in it for the long haul.
“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” ~ Epictetus
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