Posted on 12th June 2022 at 16:22
Turning a Crisis into New Business
The Scenario: A successful project orientated company with many blue chip customers and high customer satisfaction receives a call from an unhappy customer. This is a rare occurrence. The customer insists on speaking to the managing director. He has some major concerns about a current project.
The managing director is understandably apprehensive when taking the call fearing that project profitability may suffer and worse he may be at risk of losing the customer. He is also feeling let down by the project manager as he has heard of the problem from the customer first.
How did the MD respond?
We all know that the customer is always right so no push back on what the customer has to say. Instead the MD listens carefully and clarifies the key points with the customer. Then when all is clear the MD commits to immediately working with the project team to agree a solution and timescale. He also commits to reporting back within an hour to describe how they are going to get the project back on the rails.
Work with the project team to find a solution:
The MD resists the temptation to blast the project manager because he didn’t get to the MD before the customer! Instead he reports the situation as described by the client telling them he has committed to report back within the hour. “Let’s put our heads together to come up with a plan which we’re confident we can deliver within a defined timescale”. Subsequently and within the hour the MD reports back with progress or the solution.
Call back by the MD:
Confirms the project meeting and its constructive outcome. The revised plan is detailed (and confirmed in a subsequent email) and a commitment made to achievement within an acceptable timescale. Within weeks they received an invitation to bid on a new project!
The project team deliver against the revised plan in terms of substance and timescale. As a result the customer restores his trust in and loyalty to the MD and his company. In only a few weeks the company is invited to bid on another project!
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