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  • 180 Degrees…Disgruntled Customer to Loyal Ally

    Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2012

    by Suellen Richardson

In the perfect world, companies deliver customer experiences that prevent customer dissatisfaction in the first place. The reality is that sometimes there are gaps between customer expectations and actual experiences.

 

In today’s competitive marketplace, Customer Service has become the distinguishing factor between companies.  Knowing that, it is time to carefully consider these questions:
• Are your employees set up to succeed?
• Are they trained, equipped and empowered to resolve customer issues?
• Do certain policies consistently aggravate or abuse customers, making it difficult to do business with your company?

 

Whether your organization has competitors or not, we know there are consequences for having unhappy, frustrated and angry customers.  The Internet provides an immediate audience for praises and complaints.  Comments posted on social media such as Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter (and new options are popping up all the time) will instantly push a company’s reputation into the global limelight.

 

Relationships with current and potential customers are at risk when a company’s reputation gets “trashed”.  One of the most common reasons for losing customers is the poor handling of customer complaints.  Distracting thoughts like “I don’t like your voice, I don’t like your attitude and I don’t like YOU!” can impede the process of problem resolution.  If employees are armed for combat, the other side will be too.

 

Dissatisfied customers are not the enemy.  Research tells us that 96% of customers that don’t get good service don’t complain–they simply go away!  What this means is that when customers complain, they are letting your company know they are unhappy and giving you an opportunity to fix the problem and regain their trust.

 

To reach a solution, it’s important to stay focused on rational action and avoid emotional distractions.  It helps to focus on WHAT the customer’s needs are and WHAT they are trying to get you to do for them.

 

Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra once said, “The future isn’t what it used to be.” Why not make the future even better for your customers?  There is a definite payoff. In fact, on average, 56-70% of customers who complain do business with you again when their problems are resolved.  If they feel you acted quickly then up to 96% will do business with you again and even recommend your company’s products or services to others.  Those who may have once been perceived as “the enemy” may actually become some of your company’s greatest allies!   And that can make a world of difference to companies that want to grow and thrive in today’s competitive marketplace!

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