Complaints are Opportunities
Monday, October 19, 2015
We’ve made serving others a top priority. Safety 1st, service 2nd, results 3rd and profit 4th. Not sure if your business priorities are the same but after all these years we have found that with these priorities in this order we never seem to be out of balance. Our profits are always where we need them to be when we think and act safely, provide our customers with an excellent customer service experience and deliver results that meet customer expectations. Yes, everyone would like more profits but if that is all your thinking about you’ve got it backward. Think of profit as a reward. If you do all the other stuff right you’ll get your reward in the end. Talking about the end, customers remember the last thing you do for them. What if the last interaction they had with you was them bringing to you a concern they have and they don’t feel so great about the result? Do you think they’ll want to do business with you in the future? Do you think they’ll tell others? We think of a call back or complaint as an opportunity to make it right. Really how else could you view it and have a positive win/win in the end? We do strive for perfection but are smart enough to realize we aren’t perfect and yes, we do make mistakes. What we do have control over is how we deal with those “opportunities” when they present themselves. Here are 5 simple steps to service recovery.
1) Thank the customer for alerting you to the issue. Remember without them calling you would have lost your opportunity to make it right.
2) Apologize sincerely for the inconvenience. After all they had to take time to alert you to the issue.
3) Fix the problem. Act quickly as it demonstrates sincerity and credibility. Quickly means today or tomorrow.
4) Thank them again for the opportunity to make it right. After all you value their business and want them to be happy with the outcome right? The worse thing they could do is never tell you but complain about their less than satisfactory experience to others.
5) Follow up. Always follow up with a phone call, email or note after the corrective action has taken place. Often times you’ll find they will this time offer up praise and it will reaffirm their decision to stick with you as their service provider.
It’s proven that customers will be more loyal to you in the future if you resolve issues that arise quickly and diligently. It’s estimated that unsatisfied customers will tell between eight to twelve people about their negative service experience. So the choice is up to you. We are in the repeat business kind of business so we choose to go the extra mile to make things right in their eyes – that is what we want them to remember. When we have loyal, repeat, satisfied customers we increase our “reward” as well. It’s an all-around win/win situation.