April 11, 2004

A client comes home

Last week I received a call from a client. I will call Joe. I had not spoken to Joe for quite a while. Late last year I received notification from Microsoft that Joe had switched his affiliation from my company to another.

I was mildly disappointed, but that sometimes happens. I hadn’t done much business with Joe in more than a couple of years. So this call from Joe was a bit of a surprise.

After the initial chitchat, Joe said, “I made a mistake.” I responded, “Welcome to the club.” Joe replied, “Let me tell you what happened so I don’t sound like a complete schmuck. I had another Great Plains dealer that had been calling on me for some time. One day he called to say that Microsoft was having a special price for me to upgrade. I called you and you quoted the same price. But since he had asked me first I felt compelled to go with him and I did.”

“We have the new Great Plains installed, but we have not converted our data. My concern is I don’t think he has your knowledge.”

I replied, “My I make a suggestion? Why don’t I stop out and see what you’ve got and where we need to take it?”

With that, we made an appointment for Monday – tomorrow.

I hung up the phone with mixed emotions. I recognized the emotional cost of that phone call. It’s nice to have clients recognize the value I offer and come back. By the same token, I felt stupid for losing him in the first place.

Sometimes I forget that one of my jobs is to stay in constant contact with clients so they know I am here to service their needs. I try to email them regularly, but I don’t think that is always sufficient.

Posted by Ted at April 11, 2004 9:40 PM