Marketing Moment: Lessons from the Tale of a Sales Fail

We were recently considering trying a new company for our internet service. We heard their speed was incredibly fast and reliable. So, my husband gave them a call and they explained they’d be sending a box to get us started on our trial.

On the day the box was supposed to arrive, we had a couple of techs from the company show up at our door when we weren’t home. Our babysitter was here and asked them to give us a call to schedule an appointment. We never heard from them, but they showed up again a few days later without notice.

Lesson 1: Communicate clearly with your customers. If someone will be coming to their residence, be sure to tell them who to expect and when to expect them. Allow the customer the opportunity to set an appointment for a day and time that works best for them.

We called the company after the techs showed up for the first time. We explained we were frustrated because we weren’t told anyone would be coming. They didn’t offer an apology or an explanation, nor did they give us a way to schedule an appointment. We told them we were likely going to just stay with our internet provider. Their response? “Ok. Have a nice day.”

customer_service copyLesson 2: We gave the company an incredible opportunity to convince us to give them a try. Letting us off the phone without so much as a reason WHY they are better than the competition was disappointing to hear. Make sure anyone who talks to your customers on the phone is well prepared to offer reasons to try your company or stay with your company. They should know the competitive advantages your company offers and be able to speak to them intelligently.

A few days after the first house visit and phone call, a tech again showed up at our house. When we told them we’d appreciate being able to schedule an appointment, he said he could try again another day. We then told him there was no need as we were going to stick with our internet company after this experience. His response? “Ok. I will cancel your order.”

Lesson 3: If you have techs or reps who visit customers at their homes, equip them to talk with customers as well as your customer service and sales reps. If they save a sale or receive an upsell, give them the credit or commission from it.

The bottom line from this story is this internet company had multiple opportunities to win back an interested customer and they failed miserably at every turn. Take the lessons from their failures and shore up your sales and support process for maximum impact and revenue.

About Audrey Howes

Audrey has been an active member of the Swiftpage team since September 2009. Audrey manages Social Media and special projects with her marketing know-how and design expertise. When she’s not working you are likely to find her enjoying time with her family in the mountains near Steamboat, going for a run, reading a good book, being goofy with her kids, or savoring a latte in a local coffee shop.


  1. Marketing Moment: Build Anticipation and They Will Come | Swiftpage Marketing Blog - May 13, 2013

    […] Marketing Moment: Lessons from the Tale of a Sales Fail […]

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