The Louis Vuitton store in Naples, Florida at Waterside Shops is stunning. Every year when I’m in Florida, I drop by to look at their bags and covet the new and classic designs. They’re one of my favourite handbag designers because their bags are classic pieces that you can invest in and use for decades.
This January, I was looking for a new bag. It’s been a number of years since I bought one and so I was in the market to buy. I found one that I liked, and just like any other consumer, I wanted to think about it before I spent my money. The sales associate was very helpful. He gave me his card and all the information I would need once I’d made my decision.
Being that I’m Canadian, I wanted to compare the cost of the bag in Canada to the US exchange I would have to pay on the dollar, plus the duty when I came back to Canada. I quickly discovered I’d save quite a bit of money by shopping in my own country. Not wanting to delay my purchase, I decided to call Louis Vuitton and order the bag that I wanted.
When I called them, I found that I could not order the bag I wanted directly from them. They said they could identify which stores had it. The woman on the phone took my contact info and assured me that someone from the store would call me to process my order and that they could ship the bag to my home.
No one ever called me back.
Had someone returned my call that day, I would have bought the bag and I wouldn’t be writing this blog post. But no one called me back and now there is one less Louis Vuitton bag in my collection.
As the days passed and I waited for someone to call me, two things started to happen:
1) My desire for the bag started to dwindle
2) My annoyance at their customer service and lack of interest in my purchase started to climb
Enough about Louis Vuitton, let’s talk about you.
How quick are you to respond to someone who is interested in your business? Are you recognizing that speed is a competitive advantage? When you are fast to respond, your chances of closing the sale increase dramatically. Do you rationalize not responding because “it’s after business hours, or it’s the weekend” and use that as an excuse to delay getting back to someone? Are you behaving more like a mediocre employee who wants a job with “balance,” than you are an entrepreneur who is hungry to build their business?Speed is a competitive advantage in your #business. Click To Tweet
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t respond to inquiries in the middle of the night when I’m sleeping, but my sense of urgency to respond to those who are interested in doing business with me is very high, and yours should be, too.
In today’s world, inquiries come from many different places. That means you need to remember to check all those places and respond to your customer…and that can feel overwhelming. You need to respond via email, text, voicemail, social media messages and social media notifications. It’s not enough to get back to someone after a week. You’re operating a business during a time when people are looking for instant gratification. The longer you wait to get back to someone, the more their desire for your product or service dwindles, and the more their annoyance at your slow speed of response increases.
Balance is important, I get that. Taking time away from your business so you can think, re-energize and restore matters. When you do those things, you MUST be a responsible business owner and put someone else in charge of getting back to your customers. Don’t make them wait.
Your sense of urgency might just be your number one competitive advantage.
I would like to hear from you. Leave me a comment and let me know if you (as a consumer) won’t follow through on a sale based on poor responsiveness, or are you more lenient and will follow up multiple times before giving up?