Here is where the title of this blog posting comes in; Motivate Down - Complain Up. Obviously, you want the members of your personal group to remain as positive as possible. For the sake of argument, let's assume that you receive a call from one of your team members facing an unhappy customer because of product received that was damaged. Rather than comment on the poor service received by the the shipping company (which may or may not have caused the problem) or that this product was "probably shipped in this condition," which in effect throws AMSOIL Distribution Center personnel under the bus, your best bet is to first and foremost, motivate your team member to take care of the problem for that customer. That may involve taking a case of product out of personnel stock, calling around to other Dealers on the team in that area that might have that product in stock, delivering that product to the customer or a number of other potential scenarios. The point is, the customer should be taken care of first and by encouraging your downline team member to take this approach, you are "motivating down." Taking this approach shows leadership and will instill confidence, in you and AMSOIL Corporate, in your downline Dealer. By the way, you also motivate down by calling your downline Dealers when you have realized a success and want to share that success with them. It could be a new approach you used to gain a new customer, how you signed a new Dealer or any number of good news stories to share. Motivate Down!
Now, let's discuss Complaining Up. The best way this can be described is to tell a story about a call received recently by the AMSOIL Dealer Sales Department from an AMSOIL Dealer. This Dealer had a customer that ordered an AMSOIL product six months ago and had just found out that it was the wrong product. Also, the packaging was now damaged and it could not be sold as new. The contents of the package were in good, saleable condition, but new packaging and new instructions would be needed. Obviously, we would need to check and make sure all parts were also present. In this situation, it is not standard operating procedure for AMSOIL to take this product as a return. For AMSOIL to do so, the product would need to be returned within thirty days of purchase and the packaging would need to be in re-saleable shape. The Dealer was upset that they couldn't just return the product for a full refund and that "the customer was upset with the manner in which the he (the Dealer) was being dealt with" and may even stop purchasing AMSOIL product as a result of the manner in which this situation was being handled. At this point, the conversation turned to the title of this blog posting; Motivate Down - Complain Up.
This Dealer was advised that their customer should know nothing about the conversation between AMSOIL Corporate and the AMSOIL Dealer. We are on the same team! The resolution of a complaint should remain between the AMSOIL Dealer and AMSOIL Corporate; it should be completely transparent to the end customer. It only hurts your business to involve the customer in an issue such as this. If you have a complaint or an issue that is outside of normal operating procedures, contact your Regional Sales Manager. Discuss the situation in a professional manner and feel free to provide some thoughts and ideas on what you feel would be a good solution to the situation at hand. Keep this process separate from your conversations with a downline Dealer or end customer. To do so really hurts your business the most.
So, if you want to have a successful team and continue to realize the growth of your organization, be sure you are careful when handling situations involving complaints. The manner in which a complaint is handled will affect more than just the situation at hand. It can affect the future business from that customer, or the lack thereof, and the growth of your organization. Showing leadership skills by Motivating Down and Complaining Up will assist you in growing your AMSOIL business for years to come.