We’ve probably all heard the phrase ‘the customer is the ultimate king.’ Or ‘the customer is always right.’ You might even have been reprimanded by your boss due to a disagreement with a customer or a complaint that was raised due to a glitch in service delivery.
78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. (Source: American Express Survey, 2011.)
Most, if not all of us, have to deal with ‘difficult’ customers at some point. Ironically, we might have been that difficult customer in an alternate situation. We always tend to see only one side of the coin, but the truth is customer service is an every-person game. Some customers are too picky; some want too much detail while others are very specific about their privacy and the customer service. You see, companies and their superstructures understand that a customer lost from a disappointing experience which was not resolved is lost forever.
Forbes estimates that companies lose about 62 billion dollars each year due to poor customer service, and the ripple effect translates to years.
We don’t have the luxury or fine pleasure of having a monopoly of supplying every possible good or service under the sun as one company. Which effectively means that customer service representative on one end of the hotline will also be a customer on the other end at some point.
A customer complaint will usually be gift-wrapped in anger and delivered with a hint of apathy and sarcasm on the side.
News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience. (Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs.)
That’s on the surface though. Below the facade, however, is an emotion that grows out of genuine disappointment. Most customers can forgive a one-off incident because they understand that the folks working the command lines are also human. If you have the same caller complaining about the same thing three times a week, it definitely means something is amiss on your side as a company. Companies understand that a customer lost is lost forever. They may not share the same sentiments as they judge more by what was said rather than what was meant.
For a couple of reasons then, it is important to pay gross attention to customer complaints and what your clients are saying. Instead of a low moment, turn that harsh word or that middle finger into a win for you and your company.
In this day and age, where everybody, even in the remotest parts of the world, is connected by the internet and social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram or the infamous Twitter, a single customer complaint could cost you millions. An incident not handled or one handled badly could get you on the receiving end of the hate of millions. United Airlines made headlines this year when a customer got thrown off a plane under unclear circumstances. The incident which was recorded quickly went viral, especially on Twitter, and one can imagine how that was settled.
If a million customers boycott your product because of a single incident such as this, you are just as well done for.
For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent. (Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs.)
Happy customers always come back. Customers always talk about good or bad experiences with other people, and this is how most companies stay afloat; by wowing existing customers. As a business, you need to be empathetic, responsive but most importantly, quick when handling complaints. Make the customer feel loved, cherished and respected just like you would a girl you are wooing, and they will always stay. Things might get terrible, you may even increase your prices, but customers always stick with you. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
Customers always make a mental note of good and bad incidences. They say people forget what you say but never how you make them feel. Customers might quickly forget that unfriendly customer service rep as soon as they are replaced with a more amiable one, but they will never forget being made to feel unworthy or uncared for. A single employee projects on the entire organization and customers may view this treatment as an ingrained company mentality as opposed to a one-off incident.
Taking time to understand, respond to, learn and improve from a customer complaint or a nasty incident will get your business on the right track of promised growth.
If you are still struggling with angry customers, do not hesitate and outsource your customer support to us. We will definitely “wow” your clients!