Turning Customer Problems Into Company Wins
Not surprisingly, customer engagement research tells us that customers who have experienced a problem with a company are less likely to be engaged. To be precise, only 29% of those who have experienced a problem are engaged customers, compared to 52% of consumers who have not experienced a problem.
This might seem like an inevitable consequence of doing business. You can’t please ‘em all, as they say, so you might as well not try, right?
Wrong. Besides benefiting from refining and improving your company’s procedures, every business has the opportunity to win back jaded customers through exceptional service. Don’t just assume some customers are bound to leave. If employees are encouraged and rewarded for going out of their way to solve customer problems they feel a stronger connection to your company and are more inclined to go above and beyond to exceed cutomer expectations. This extra effort helps turn disengaged customers into engaged customers. In fact, as PeopleMetrics’ Most Engaged Customer Study found, customers who feel a problem was handled well are nearly as engaged as those who never experienced a problem in the first place (49% vs. 52%).
Here are the basic steps engaged employees take to successfully address customer service complaints:
- Empathize. Carefully listen to the customer’s description of the problem. Instead of responding with impatience or defensiveness, imagine yourself in their shoes and do your best to empathize with them.
- Move Quickly. Make it clear that you’re moving to solve the customer’s problem as quickly as possible. Don’t wait to act.
- Resolve It. Provide appropriate solutions and information to solve the problem.
Keep in mind that 1 out of 4 customers who experience a problem never report it to the company. These customers simply walk away without giving the organization an opportunity to troubleshoot or resolve the problem. They may never tell the company about the problem, but you can bet they’ll share their negative experience with family and friends, who will be less likely to give you their business. In fact, on average, they share their poor opinion with three other people.
On the other hand, customers who feel your company quickly and easily solves problems are more likely to refer your services to friends. By kindly and quickly resolving customers’ problems, you send the message that you’re capable of handling any future issues. The customer is more likely to feel they can trust your brand when their problems have been solved. Cherish the customers who report problems. They represent a golden opportunity to improve your procedures and demonstrate excellent customer service.