A Customer Never Forgets!
When a customer has a truly memorable experience, never forgets. And I don’t mean those plain, normal experiences, but those that are placed at one extreme, either good or bad.
People tend to keep in mind only the negative and rarely the positive, this is how people think, and there is little we can do about it.
When the sh*t hits the fan, as a company you get the chance to redeem yourself and transform the negative experience into a positive one.
Your approach with the customer should be one that makes them feel special and important.
Presume from the start that no one is guilty, that no company wants to provide a bad product/service or “disposable” ones, at least statement wise they want to offer good quality services.
Most of the customers show tolerance when something is not working as it should. Sh*t happens sometimes, but you can make a difference in the manner that you react to the problem, and after all, it’s your problem, not customer’s. The customer doesn’t really care if the problem was created by any “John Doe” or by some big boss. But if he sees a bad attitude, tension rises, and he will try to escalate hierarchically and talk to a manager. A simple employee won’t be enough to find a solution, threats will be proliferated and some bad mouthing is to be expected, either live, recorded or online.
No matter what are the services provided by a company, they would screw things up at some point, so it needs an action plan/service recovery for these situations. In some cases, a real-time recovery service helps, at least theoretically, to find a solution. Other times, the person in charge of the situation must act even beyond the job description to make sure the client who paid for the product/service ends up being satisfied.
Most often, the initiative of a single employee can turn a negative experience into a positive one, but it should all start with the wish to do the customer’s experience as pleasant as possible. When you manage to transform a negative experience into a positive one, you have a better chance to build customer loyalty.
If you are a representative of the company, you should at least apologize for what happened. You have to show empathy and present some sincere apologies, not just read a standard script, in order to help you make the client feel important.
Then you’ll have to make sure that you clearly understood what is the product/service that failed to work properly. Don’t make assumptions and scenarios based on the experience you had with other customers and never joke about it. You should expect the customer to be as technical as you, not do they have to, and ironic questions such as “Is the TV plugged in?” will just make the customer angrier.
Don’t argue with the customer, no matter what he/she says. I don’t support the idea that the customer is our king, which often is taken literally. For now, you represent the company that under delivered and the client is already irritated.
Solve the customer’s problem!
If you solved it, doesn’t mean you did him a favor. I mean if you failed to reach the holiday destination along with your luggage, doesn’t mean that receiving the luggage after three days is satisfactory. Provide, as much as possible, a compensation for the product/service that wasn’t delivered properly.
After the situation “cooled off” you must get back to the customer and make sure they understood that this experience was an exception and you are willing at any time to prove him wrong, if he is willing to give you a chance.
And yes, there are situations when no matter what you do, you’ll lose the client and they will never forget you.
There are also some customers who will keep being discontented and will emphasize every time the faults of your products/services, but they’ll continue to use them. They are a special kind of customers and they are able to embarrass even the best providers, but this is not the place to discuss them.
It’s impossible to satisfy the request of every customer every time, get used to the idea, but still, you should strive to offer the best quality — price ratio on the market. In the end, even if something went wrong, the customer will remember it and it’s your chance “to do good… so you don’t go bad”.
Good luck achieving customer satisfaction!
Originally published at bogdan.blog on May 17, 2017.