This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Mark Salsberry writes about how resolving issues can do more than save a single customer, it can save your brand’s reputation. Negative customer experiences will happen and I agree that we must take ownership and work to quickly resolve the issue at hand. – […]
This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Mark Salsberry writes about how resolving issues can do more than save a single customer, it can save your brand’s reputation. Negative customer experiences will happen and I agree that we must take ownership and work to quickly resolve the issue at hand. – Shep Hyken
No matter how hard we try, sometimes we underwhelm our customers. Other times, we downright frustrate them. On a really bad day, a customer might even be insulted by an employee. Plan as we may, customer experience can go awry. So, what happens when we create an imperfect customer experience? It turns out that a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9 and 15 people about the bad customer experience, according to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). If that customer writes a negative review on TripAdvisor or Yelp, then the ramifications are even more disastrous.
There are some critical components to recovering your detractors. Here is an outline for success:
95% of unhappy customers will return if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. (Source: NARMS) Follow up promptly and you’ll have the upper hand saving both your customer and your brand’s reputation.
Allow yourself to feel what your customers feel. Put yourself in their shoes and you’ll more easily get to a resolution that suits both you and them.
Empower your employees with the ability to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. You’ll not only delight customers, but the empowerment will also delight your employees.
To overcome a negative customer experience, you can’t simply get them back to where their expectations started. You have to go beyond their expectations to delight them.
So, let’s go deeper into one of these important components of managing your customer experience: ownership.
Blame can be an ugly thing unless you are accepting blame rather than dishing it out. Now, most people would agree that it’s unwise to blame the customer for their bad experience. We’ve all heard the saying “The Customer is Always Right.” While there is strong opinion against this saying, bear in mind that most of your customers are not unreasonable. It is best to err on the side of assuming, rather than assigning, blame. But what about blaming your colleagues, or other departments in your company?
I was recently grabbing takeout at one of the big 3 national pizza chains. My experience was less than ideal, so I asked to speak with the manager. He came out and I explained the issue to him. He told me that this was a problem with “corporate” and there was nothing he could do about it. I left feeling like this was an acceptable part of their business and that I’ll likely encounter issues again. The blame made me feel even further from resolution. With other good pizza options, we’ve stopped spending our money there.
Fall On Your Sword
It sounds so much better to your customer when you accept responsibility. Even when it’s not your fault personally, accept responsibility on behalf of your company. Listen what it sounds like when Donald Trump blames a faulty earpiece for his recent miscue. Now, contrast that with Google accepting responsibility for a self-driving car accident. It is so much classier when we own up to our failures. Yes, it takes a lot of humility, but you’ll quickly diffuse situations by falling on your sword.
If employees need to come to you for approval, you’ve burdened your customer with multiple touch points, rather than a one-stop resolution. Beyond that, your employees feel disempowered. You’ve put them in a place where they have to apologize for keeping the customer waiting for resolution. Empower them, and both they and your customers will be delighted. Give your employees a number of first-touch resolution tools that they can use to delight your customers immediately. This authority will save customers and improve employee satisfaction, as well.
Resolving issues can do more than save a single customer, it can save your brand’s reputation. Best-in-class companies have a plan in place to follow up with their dissatisfied customers to resolve issues. Do you?
Mark Salsberry has over a decade of experience in customer experience and market research, working for and with Fortune 100 companies. He has helped Verizon Wireless implement and manage their customer experience solution and process. Mark also helped start Research Intelligence, an innovative solution that allows brands to experience their customers using streaming video and speech-to-text. Today, he’s helping businesses improve their customer experience with QuestionPro CX.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article:
Walmart Creates Training Academies To Improve Customer Service
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