No matter how much technology we deploy into a business, it will still be ran by people. As a result of this, mistakes will be made. Promises will be broken. Customer trust will be broken. What can we do about it?
Business is always all about the customer. This is probably why I enjoy facilitating Customer Service workshops a lot. Amongst all the stakeholders in a business, the customer is the most important person. They bring in the money that pay the suppliers, the shareholders and the employees. If customer trust is broken, the businessperson must do whatever is within their power to restore it. And it must be done as fast as possible.
Even though I find customer service subject intriguing and am currently doing a book I title The Z of Customer Service (which will be a sequel to The Z of Marketing), this post was inspired by a comment on one of Michael Hyatt’s recent blog posts. A lady complained about the link to a video not responding and immediately, the matter was resolved and she got a feedback and she was happy.
So when next a customer of yours gets disappointed, what should you do? I think the following steps will save the situation and rebuild customer trust.
- Acknowledge the glitch
- Resolve the problem
- Give feedback and request feedback
- Reward the customer
- Document findings
- Show off
Lets study these one after the other.
Acknowledge the glitch
The number one way to solve a problem is to acknowledge that that problem exists. So if you are going to successfully rebuild customer trust after it’s lost, you must learn this. I have met many businesspeople who will waste time to argue first. You don’t want to do that. If you can’t seem to find what the customer is saying, let them educate you. If its otherwise, then educate the customer. You have nothing to lose by listening to your customer.
Resolve the problem
As soon as you acknowledge the problem, move swiftly to fix it. The keyword here is swiftly. The faster you fix the problem, the faster you can make a happy customer who can help bring in new customers. If the problem is a technical one, find people who can fix it. If it is something you can fix yourself, do it fast. If it will take a long while to fix, you must communicate with the customer throughout the period. The customer will feel better that they are being taken serious.
Give and request feedback
Feedbacks are very important. Give the customer feedback when you are working on restoring their trust. Give them feedback when the solution is ready. Then request for feedback after giving your own feedback. Many times, the feedback you get like this can be very brilliant. Apart from this however, getting feedback from the customer will help you to know if the customer is still unhappy.
Reward the customer
Many customers will not say anything to you when there is a problem. This is especially if they didn’t spend much on the service or product. They will just “likc their wounds” and move on. But they will definitely talk to someone about their bad experience. So if any customer goes out of their way to give you free consulting/advise, take it very serious and ensure they are rewarded for the feedback. The reward can range from a massage to a subscription of their favourite magazine.
The glitch, the details of the customer concerned, what was done about the problem and every other information should be well documented. It should also contain lessons learned. This will be a very good part of your organizational knowledge base. And that report should constantly be updated for future reference. When you read Jack Welch’s Straight From The Gut, you will notice that there is no way that book would have so detailed if he didn’t keep some form of diary. Your company shoudl have one as well.
When you solve a problem for a customer and rebuild their trust, you have the right to show off. If their feedback is very brilliant, post it on your website, Facebook and other social network platform.
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