Do Customer Management, Not Contracts

Customers x Contracts
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In this article we will talk about the following topics:

How does service work in most Brazilian companies?

The attendance of Brazilian companies seems like an inverted fairy tale. Whether you are an individual or a legal entity, the relationship you will experience with 90% of your suppliers in Brazil is similar to the text below.

You identified a problem, searched for various solutions, company X arrived - let's call it that. Get in touch with X through an unpretentious form on the website. Less than 12h later, Bruna, who runs the X commercial, contacts you.

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During the negotiation phase, Bruna has the best intentions when talking about solving her problems. She will spare no effort. You are ready to fight with your directors to ensure that all your demands are met. When you're almost in love with Bruna, she sends the first version of the contract.

Beats that point of mistrust when you look at the 12 months contract period with 50 clauses to finish before. That's when you get into that process of teenage passion. "Bruna and X will not let me down! They care about me! I'm sure". You sign the contract and your problems begin.

The first thing X does is replace Bruna with Rosa. Why keep a person who serves well and has good business skills by serving a customer who is already stuck with you for 12 months? Get her to find new teens and suck their souls to the core.


Rosa may even be a hard worker and willing to help you, but deep down she does not have much autonomy at all. She is in the position of defending herself and defending herself from the company. At that time also appears the figure of the superior phantom. Rosa depends on it for everything "I'll check with my superior", but he is a robot programmed to deny all his demands.

At that moment the willingness to help and Rosa's sweet voice are no longer sufficient. It was time for X to start solving your problem. Once you exhaust your possibilities you start thinking about divorce. Go review the contract and see the fateful paragraph that says that you donated your soul to X for 12 months with contract draining clauses below.

You think, "No ... they're cool. They want me to talk about them, though. These clauses serve to prevent them from problem clients. " You talk to Rosa and you hear a simple "We can not breach what is in contract".

It is not possible for brands up to large to not link to the brand liability that they are leaving for the future. That they are satisfied with money entering from enslaved clients, arrested, in a contract even using their services. But yes, this happens in many cases.

The drop of water for me was when I, a physical person, found a price list of a cheaper supplier than the same services I had contracted with them and called for the same. I heard that table was just for new customers. Old and more profitable customers did not deserve to be happier. I replied that I wanted to cancel and re-sign, but they said my zip code could only rehire 6 months later. End of relationship.

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What is the point of investing millions of dollars in marketing and sales and treating customer service and after-sales as mere costs?

Why are companies content with this?

I could raise thousands of theories on the subject, but I will focus on the 3 I think major:

  • There are not many competitors for some services

Some sectors are made up of a few very large companies and this, in a way, makes them satisfied with their market share. This is bad for consumers because, with no change options, they have nowhere to run.

  • Some data is difficult to monitor

The board is often happy to see that the company has grown its 5% revenues from one month to the next. Who's looking at how many reviews she's received on social networks? And word of mouth? If the number of new customers is greater than the number of lost customers, that's all right.

  • It is easier to tame attendants than to train

Why train and motivate an attendant so that he does his best with a certain limit of autonomy leaving more customers happy if this will increase cost and risk? It can work in a fully controlled environment with ready-made answers to questions. If that question does not answer yet, simply call on the Ghost Superior entity.

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It is really very difficult to monitor and believe what we do not see in short-term indicators. Brand liability will not reduce your revenue in a month, but once your brand has become a laughing stock among your own customers the bill arrives. And the investment to clean your branding will be much greater than the investment you neglected in your service.

The tip of the Light is: do not be afraid to dare and do not try to please anyone. A user who is flirting with your brand, a customer, an ex-customer. Anything goes! Until you indicate a competitor when he has a product that solves the user problem and you do not have it. I assure you his feeling will be of a surprise and his subconscious will think "I need to test these people one day."

Example of the policy we want in LIGHT

"Let's create a policy to return 100% of the money if a spreadsheet of ours does not meet a user who bought it?"

"But he'll have the product, he can act in bad faith!"

"We are here to help managers do their job better. They trust us and we'll trust them before we become suspicious. "

It was from this dialogue that happened at one of the team meetings of the LIGHT, that we implemented the most daring service policy in our company's history.

We are fully refunding the money from a purchase in which a customer introduces himself to us explaining that a product did not respond to him in the way he would like. Of course we try to understand the reason, to teach to use the product correctly, to exchange for another product. If nothing works, we deposit the full amount into the client's account without blinking, even if the worksheet is his for ever.

At first I confess that it was frightening, after all there was a risk that the volume of return would increase, but the confidence in our product and the affection that we engaged in it spoke louder and implemented the practice known internally here as "Satisfaction or your money back ! "

What was the result of this bold strategy? The volume of returns has not increased, after all, if we are pragmatic, we will know that this policy already exists. What can you do after exhausting the attempts with an unhappy client as well as returning his money? We just make this process something more transparent, faster, and more professional.

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In addition, something very interesting has happened with the way we analyze the dissatisfactions. We begin to analyze the causes and act upon them. Why did a customer return our product? Lack of quality we knew it was not. We discovered that there were some reasons:

  • Misunderstanding of the product before purchase
  • Misunderstanding of demand itself
  • Misuse of the product

All such cases can be resolved with communication. We have made a series of modifications that have improved our company because of a simple policy of service allied to the quest for excellence of our product that, in itself, should be the main goal of any company. What have we done to improve?

  • We reformulate our entire spreadsheet production process

Before we had ideas and executed. Today we talk to customers, we put a designer to plan the screens with a focus on usability, we create prototypes, we assist volunteer clients using the prototypes to identify usage flaws, we correct them, and only then do we get the final versions with excel.

  • We improve our visual communication

We try to make the features of each product clearer and more objective on their respective pages, blog posts and emails about them. In addition, we started recording videos explaining the flap-to-flap usage of each worksheet.

  • We have created a help center and we

Many companies do this by trying to replace the service. It even becomes difficult to find an email or phone number on their help pages. We did it in a serious way: Help LIGHT. In fact, our flow is usually the opposite: the user talks to us in the chat and we send a question that is already in the Help for him.


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