Yesterday I got a call from a Sales Manager that Home Care Sales mentored when he was hired for this management position at a Home Care Agency.? He started the call with, ?My reputation, and my company?s reputation is going to be ruined.?
After listening to him moan about customer service failures and broken promises with a lot of finger pointing, I asked him this, ?What did you do about the mistakes??? He said, ?I?m out selling, and trying to train reps, I don?t have time to do anything about these service failures.?? That is when I shared this advice:
“People with good intentions make promises. People with good character keep them! Be more concerned about your character than with your reputation. You express the truth of your character with the choice of your actions.”
Your accounts were promised follow through and trust me many are saying in their heads, “Oh, I’m sorry! I thought you meant what you promised.” Promises are worse than lies! Don’t say what you won’t or can’t deliver! Telling someone absolutely I will… is a promise to deliver and it creates hope for the receiver of this message! Not only does this make you a liar, but it will also destroy most relationships.
Melanie and I both believe this to be true:
Sales = Profound Customer Service
I know there are times that someone at your organization will screw up! After 24 years owning a home health, private duty and hospice… I totally get it! But how you respond to that mistake is how you and your team will be defined!
Follow these Steps:
- Own up to the mistake. Take full responsibility without giving any excuses. Tell your account that you will get to the bottom of what happened and that you will come back with a full report.
- Discuss with leadership that has the authority to make process changes. You don’t need to go to every member of the office staff and start to point fingers. You need to report the facts of what happened according to the account?s perception back to decision makers. You also don?t want to make any enemies at intake. Boy, that is a rookie mistake that I have seen too many times!
- Understand the exact area in your companies process that caused the mistake. Also, understand the steps that your company has taken to make sure that this cannot happen again at, not only this account, but ANY other account.
- Report back to the account that had the service failure on what happened. Be fully transparent. Tell them, ?We made a mistake. We had our performance Improvement Committee review what went wrong and we have made changes to prevent this from ever happing again.? Providing this type of a report back on how your company has changed any internal processes to prevent it from reoccurring will allow the account to see that you truly care about breaking a promise.
- Ask for forgiveness and another chance. If you have a great relationship, most accounts will forgive a mistake as long as it is infrequent. Some accounts will drop off from referring, but only until the next company has a service failure. I would make sure I return to this account quarterly to look to see when it will be my time to capture their referrals once again.
The beautiful part about a customer service failure is that you can really use this as an opportunity to deepen your relationship with your account. You can use this to uncover what is important to them and you can make sure that your words and your actions are congruent! This congruence in words and actions builds amazing trust! You can?t stop 100% of service failures but you can maintain your character and your book of business!
Want to jump start your business in 2020? Want to learn how to work with Medicare Advantage Plans?? Want to learn how to establish a Total Patient Care Delivery Model?? Want to be one of the home health organizations that survives PDGM?? Want to grow your hospice?? Want more private pay patients?? What to see how AI is going to change the way health care is being delivered?
Then hurry! We have expanded our room size, and again we are nearly at maximum capacity.? We started with 75 seats, went up to 100, and now we have increased to 125 seats and these too are almost gone!
Visit? www.homecaresales.com/event to signup for our growth summit in just a little over 2 weeks!
Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”
Co-Owner of Home Care Sales