How to Lose an Account

1. Things had gone well with this account overall. What, though, were the critical issues in determining the customer’s satisfaction that led to the loss of the customer? Was the problem simply a lack of satisfaction with the product? Using concepts from the chapter, describe how the customer’s value equation was influenced by the experiences both before the call and during the call. Companies in all industries and of all sizes understand that customers are perhaps their most valuable assets. Improving the overall customer experience is vital for continued success and survival, and always has been.
In the words of many industry professionals, losing a customer is the absolute worst thing that could happen to our company. This mantra has always stood true, but when we’re fighting with competitors for every dollar, customer retention is key. In our case we have a functional type of relationship between the customer and the company. “Functional relationships are long-term market exchanges characterized by behavioral loyalty – the buyer purchases the same product out of habit or routine. “ (J. Tanner, p. 354) As we can see from our case the relationship between Mobile Connection and Health Resources of Texas (HRT) is continuing for 3 years.
In the functional relationship customer satisfaction is very important because without it, behavioral loyalty cannot develop. Customer satisfaction is the degree to which a buyer is satisfied with a product, service or company. Companies are very interested in ensuring that customers are happy with the performance of a product or the quality of service because it will affect future purchase decisions. In fact, quality may be the most important of the customer satisfaction objectives because the consequences of a bad product or poorly performed service are virtually impossible to overcome.

In our case the problem is not exactly with the product but with the service. The service is poor because Tony Lagera, the service director, made promises that he had never fulfilled. He even didn’t pay too much attention to the customer’s request but the worst thing is that Tony was dishonest. In order to have a successful long-term relationship the most important thing is to have mutual trust. Because without trust ( partners can trust and depend on each other, resolve problems as they arise and settle differences between them when it necessary) unhappy customers will not stay loyal to the company nd will go out to our competitors. According to J. Tanner “trust is a belief by one party that the other party will fulfill its obligations in a relationship” (p. 362). When we earned the trust of the other party, our relationship is strong and we do not need to constantly monitor each other’s actions because both believe that other parties will act in a way that is best for both parties. But trust only is not enough, which is why it is a combination of five factors: dependability, competence, customer orientation, honesty and likability.
As we can see, Tony did not possess the honesty factor. When Sharon Collins raise the problems about the copiers, Tony was also aware of the problem but hadn’t processed the request to replace the copiers yet and he was told to say that the company was reviewing the problem and the problem would be solved in one way or another. The problem occurs when Sharon called the service director to explain the problem, Tony hemmed and hawed and avoided answering the question, and as a result he was being dishonest.
Honesty is both truthfulness and sincerity and honesty is related to dependability and competence about the product and services that the company, in which the salesperson is working, provides. Here is the problem, Tony did not admit that he didn’t know what to answer and just avoided to answer to Sharon’s question directly. Customers can very easily determine when they are being laid and as a result dissolution occurs. The worst thing is that Tony didn’t realize that he performed poorly, he thought everything went well and he did great job.
That is why he has to improve his skills and knowledge but unfortunately it is too late because the company had been rejected to be part of the bid. All of the things I said so far led to the loss of the customer based on his/her dissatisfaction. As far as it goes to the Customer Value Equation, I may say that it is influenced in a negative way especially after the call, I mean it has decreased. As we already know Value = Benefits minus Cost. Customer Value is equal to benefits (it includes functional and emotional benefit) minus the cost (the price of the product, time and effort needed to for purchase and psychic costs).
Our CVL decreased because of the following reasons: first, the benefit decreased because the customer is dissatisfied with the services, therefor the emotional benefits went down; second, the cost (not the price of the product) increased because it took more time and effort for Sharon to explain what the problem was and to wait for a proper answer for her request (when and how would the problem be fixed). Hence, the customer value decreased based on the things I have explained above. 2.
Was there anything the sales rep or his boss, Robert Lawrence, could have done after the sales call to save the business? Everyone must be involved in customer satisfaction. All personnel have the capability, at some level, to influence customer satisfaction. Top management must communicate exactly how personnel will be expected to contribute because it’s often not intuitively obvious how this is possible. Therefore, Robert should have not sat in a silence. He as a manager of Mobile Connection should act as a role model for all of other employees at the company.
He should have intervened in the relationship between Sharon and Tony and should have done something to keep Sharon as a customer. Robert might have met with the customer face to face and have an open communication – discuss the problems and find the proper solution that will satisfy the needs and wants of the customer. As we know in the relational partnership all the communication between customer and the company goes through the salesperson (Tony), but when this doesn’t lead to the wanted results, the manager must insist on direct communication.
It is better for the both parties and it is easier to keep the good partnership for longer period of time. 3. Not only were there no other problems during the previous three-year contract, but Mobile had originally won the business away from a competitors and significantly improve HRT’s situation. Why didn’t that enter into the picture? Sometimes one little thing may terminates the long-lasting relationship. In our case buyer’s dissatisfaction was the main reason to put an end to the existing relationship.
The problem was that the Sharon’s expectation was not fulfilled and the reason was the bad services which led to customer dissatisfaction. The good customer service is essential for the success of the company and to its survival in this competitive market. Bad customer service occurs when a customer is not satisfied with his services. The customer will not feel like he has been treated fairly, listened to or that his concerns have been addressed by employees of a company as in our case. When customers are dissatisfied with a company’s customer service, it can have negative effects on the business.
As such, business owners must identify and resolve bad customer service but this did not happen in our case because the manager just stayed silent and did nothing to fix the service director’s bad performance. Therefore, dissolution of this partnership occurred because of bed services. This could have been avoided if the company had provided better training and motivation for its employees in order to have a better performance and escape customer’s dissatisfaction. CITATION: 1. Tanner, John F. “Building Partnering Relationship. ” Selling: Building Partnerships. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2007. 350-365. Print.

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