Breaking up is Hard to Do
I am not a perfect frame
representative. I may be late. I may cancel an appointment if my child gets sick and needs my care. I might get a flat tire or heaven forbid… a speeding ticket.
Unexpected mishaps can always come up. I may not remember to write “delayed billing” on your bill and you may be shocked when you get that large invoice. A frame may be missing or added on to your order due to human error. Mistakes are part of life.
I am not a perfect sales rep, but if I mess up your order, I will make sure you get the correct product, overnight, if I have to. If I have to cancel an appointment, I will let you know as soon as possible and reschedule at
your convenience. If I forget to add something important on your bill, just call me and I will call you back within 24 hours and get it fixed. Mistakes may be a part of life, but in the business world they need to be mended.
I don’t think any of your frame reps are perfect, but some might have more cancellations than others. You may be often surprised by a few frames added on your orders continuously. You may get invoiced for a product that you actually didn’t order. You may try to call and fix this problem but nobody gets back to you. A rep may avoid you to avoid exchanges and returns. A rep may tell
you how to run your office.
I have heard many stories out in the field. The crazy things reps do and
still think they are going to get your business. Let them think again. It may be time to start breaking up business relationships and start expecting more of your frame representatives. Below are some situations and some resolutions that will work for you if your reps are less than perfect far too often.
I can’t get to your office today - Be understanding if your rep cancels once in a while. Make sure they get back on schedule as soon as possible. Your rep should also understand if you have to cancel on occasion. I am sure you have a life outside of the office. Be weary of numerous cancellations. How many emergency dentist appointments does your rep actually have? Upon rescheduling your rep should work around your time. If the rep can’t adapt to your schedule, it might be time to say goodbye. Personal issues come up, but there is no reason they should always come up during your scheduled appointments.
If they cannot find a way to make a scheduled appointment, it shows you are not a very valuable account. Even if you have a good relationship with the rep, you cannot do business with constant cancellations. Be honest with your rep and explain that you are both here to get a job done. It cannot be done if one side doesn’t work.
Did I order this? - If you get the wrong frame once in a while, don’t get frazzled. Humans and machines make errors. Call your rep right away if your order is wrong. They should call you back within 24 hours and fix it by sending a return authorization or a call tag if you have received frames that are not on your order. These solutions are easy if you have a good rep. If the rep does not get back to you within 48 hours, try again. I know this can be frustrating but reps don’t always work “banker’s hours.”
Try calling the company and see if they can fix the order. If the order is not fixed in seven days, return the frames with the original invoice. If your rep can’t fix a little problem, what is going to happen if there is a big one? Send a letter with the invoice explaining your attempts to get in contact with the rep. They should take back the frames or give you a pretty good deal to keep your business. It is not the time to worry about getting the rep in trouble. Customer service skills are essential for any sales representative.
If orders are continuously padded, end the relationship immediately. Padding is just as bad as stealing. Would you keep a rep who stole from you? Padding just shows disrespect for your office. You may get duplicates due to messy handwriting, sloppy typing or mechanical errors but you can tell when an order is padded. To develop a relationship with a rep, there needs to respect and trust; the basics of any relationship.
Why won’t he call me back? - How many times have you tried to contact your rep, with no luck. You have tried calling the office and their cell phone, but no one is calling you back. Unless they are on vacation, your rep should call you back within 48 hours. There is nothing more frustrating than lack of communication. If you have not heard from your rep within a week the next call should be for them to pick up their frames.
Always on their phone - This happens all the time. I see reps on
their cell phones in your office. You may even have a sign on your door that says, “No use of cellular phones,” but many reps do not think this rule applies to them. Everyone’s time is important but your reps need time to focus on your business, not their own. If your rep’s continuous cell phone use bothers you, ask them politely to leave their phones in the car or on “off”. Texting or emailing is okay if they are left waiting, but you might want to end your relationship with the loud cell phone talkers who are not respecting your office rules.
It may have taken a long time to build your relationship with your representative. Sometimes, we get too comfortable and neglect customer service skills. I am sure the rep courted you to get your account. They should still court you five years later. Customer service is forefront to any business relationship. Know your business is valuable but frame reps can be disposable. Reward your trustworthy, responsible reps with your continued business. If the relationship is not successful, don’t be afraid to “break up.”