Here’s a quick story I wanted to share about “Customer Service”. This time, I was on the other end of the “un-happy customer” situation.
A few months ago, my good “work friend” was let go from the station (bummer), when he left I inherited a good chunk of his book of business (hooray!). Because my “work friend” has only been gone from the station for a few months, I’m in the middle of handling some advertising that he had booked. Today, I found myself dealing with a rather large client who was not happy when he called on the phone.
I had originally reached out to the client to see if they wanted to make a last-minute addition to July for a push. I had a brief conversation with the client and he asked me to send me his rates. While I was out on the road, I got a “frantic” call from the client.
Heres what happened:
CLIENT: Hey, Brian its Bill from Company XYZ (no thats not the name of the company, let’s just protect the innocent, here, okay?)
ME: Bill! Whats up? Were your ears ringing? I was just about to call you!
CLIENT: “Ha ha. Well, I need your rates, but I also need you to help me with an invoice I received. I can’t quite figure out what I’m being billed for, and it seems like I had my schedule air twice, and that I was charged twice for it”
ME: give me some details on the invoice numbers, the dates, and anything else you’ve got. I’ll have the issue resolved before 4PM.
Bill (from Company XYZ) gave me all the details. Instead of spending the afternoon “popping in on” some clients, I went back to the office to do a little research. Come to find out, Bill WAS charged twice for the same schedule. The details of how this schedule got booked are kind of confusing (and ultimately unimportant), suffice to say there was a miscommunication between my “work friend” and Bill over a “One Day Only Sale” the station had on rates back in the fall, and a series of ads ran for the same product-line twice.
I gave Bill another call at about 3:00
ME: Bill, whats up? I figured out what happened. Looks like the discrepancy was from a “one day package” you bought.
BILL: Well, that sucks. I wouldn’t have placed the other order had I known he was running the “One Day Sale” as well. I feel like I’ve been swindled.
ME: Bill. I totally understand. That does seem unfair, but I dont think the old guy did it on purpose. We’re not dishonest guys at FM102/1. Let’s make it right. I’ll do what it takes, because I value your business and I KNOW that our partnership makes sense.
BILL: wow. really? thats awesome.
The conversation went on, and I feel like I kinda talked Bill “off of a cliff” a bit. We came to an agreement that was fair for both of us. I hooked Bill up with a sponsorship of a radio segment that would give his product an extra push. Bill was more than pleased, because the show sponsorship gave his product an additional 20 extra mentions for his last minute push!
I pretty much saved the day. Kept the client happy, and I didn’t have “give away the house” to keep him happy. Bill and I are now best friends, and I am confident that the way I handled the situation saved not only me, but the station, from offending a major client.
Be friendly. Be Happy. Apologize. Fix the problem. Save the day.