Very few people like being the Bad Cop on the team (except for a certain physician that I know). But when you’re trying to get information, or change behavior, out of your suspect – I mean customers! – sometimes you need to be the Bad Cop.
A client came to me recently, stressed, because too many customers were canceling scheduled appointments at the last minute, and she was not able to fill the slots with other jobs. Her employees were losing money, and she did not want to lose her employees. My client felt that most people were blowing off their appointments with less than honest excuses.
We brainstormed a few approaches, including a big penalty fee for canceling in under 48 hours, very Bad Cop.This technique uses aggression and threats to get the desired result.
But the approach we settled on for her customer letter was definitely Good Cop.
We talked about her employees, highlighted the professional quality of their work and reminded the customers that real people were impacted by last minute cancellations. We acknowledged that sometimes schedules change but we asked for cooperation and compliance.
What strategies do you find best work for your customers?