Turn All Your Customers Into Your Brand Ambassadors/Prakashan.B.Vfirstname.lastname@example.org
How Can You Retain All Your Customers & Make Them Goodwill Ambassadors ?
Let me start this with a brutally honest statement: By (unfortunately) "creating"unhappy customers, the only result that would be sure in the context of your business would be, you have "succeeded" in getting a certain amount of damage that can't be repaired easily. Yes, I have been on both sides of the table during my working life spanning over last 26 + years across different verticals & geographical regions and can vouch that any damage done in this context is that of irreparable in nature if not properly taken care right from the beginning. Details available on the *websites are quite shocking. Published articles such as "100 Customer Service Statistics You Need To Know" lists clearly that an amount to the tune of $41 billion is lost by US companies each year due to poor customer service and 66% of customers switch companies due to poor service. What is even more bad is that a whopping 82% felt that their service provider could have done something to prevent them from switching.
So please pause for a while and ask yourself this all important question
Are You treating your customers wrongly by any chance ? Let us have a quick check on where all it could go wrong #?
#Not listening at all when the customer is complaining as you are used to handling them with a preconceived notion#?
Remember? "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" When customers start complaining many would like to resort to this stupid method to prove that the complaint itself is not valid by defending like a reflex action right from the beginning. Result? This ruins the whole game. It will ultimately end up into eroding the whole discussion into an argument (remember, customer is also equally aggressive). Instead,put yourself in their shoes.That will yield great results.
Defending unnecessarily will only spoil the game. Never forget the fact that the customers have a much louder voice than before. Need proof? Please check the innumerable number of websites where unhappy customers are uploading such experiences.
Not only that it makes sense to remember what the studies on the available data indicates;For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent. So when a complaint is received it makes a lot of sense , purpose and meaning to attend to it appropriately from the best possible manner.
#Once you are convinced that an error has taken place,What is the greatest mistake that can take place#?
Not Accepting that such a mistake has taken place quickly and gracefully. It is a blunder and really a bad#sin! ....If there is a mistake made, please accept it gracefully rather than spoiling it further with wrong attitude. Once the mistake is accepted the next logical step would be to do the damage control by making sure that the necessary rectification / correction is made to the total satisfaction of the customer. What could happen if a mistake is not resolved properly? Not only that the customer will go elsewhere but your very brand image will also be tarnished.
#Thinking that you are in a competition with your customer to win that argument/whatever every time you talk to them#?
It is not a situation of who wins.You might pretend to lose to win the confidence of your customers for the benefit of your company.That is what an ideal employee should do to create a win-win situation.
#Not being kind and considerate to customers is a big mistake#?
Customers can have different views. May be the policy of the organization doesn't match well with that. That is fine.There could always be ways to pacify a customer who is upset if the policy of the organization is ethical and acceptable without looking biased. "Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much." Being kind and considerate generates a lot of confidence and would create a better atmosphere for problem solving. "Ask your customers to be part of the solution, and don't view them as part of the problem. ".
Research says that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience and you can well imagine how costly this could be.
# Not replying to the customers promptly is again a deadly sin#?.
If they bring to your attention some issues please don't beat around the bush. Focus on what is mentioned.Reply with proper answers which are acceptable and ethically correct.The delay in replying to a customer complaint or neglecting to reply/wrong replies are the deadly sins which would pave the way for ruining any confidence left with the customer(if at all any..)
In these days of system generated messages which rule the digital world there are chances that every email generated with an attachment may not be manually updated keeping in view of the garbage in garbage out theory of automated systems.So this is bound to have errors if input data's are not updated.More important don't lose the touch with the customers by just communicating with them only through email and forwarding the documents by couriers. “Putting customers at the center of your business is what it takes to create a competitive advantage.”
Again it is a well documented fact that when it comes to sales, the probability of selling to an existing happy customer is up to 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer.
#Not being accessible to your customers#?.
Please take out time to meet them in person, understand their requirements rather than communicating with them virtually at all points of time .If not corrected this could be a fatal mistake in the long term. Remember ? Out of sight, out of mind. It is again an accepted and identified fact that the news of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience.
#Not being diplomatic in your discussions with your customers#?.
Even when the customer is probably wrong from organization's point of view,you could tactfully put across that point and make a good impression.Which means to say that while dealing with a customer who might probably be discussing with a wrong assumption(data) utmost patience and care is required to put across the accurate point correctly from the organizations's side to make a good impression.It is important to be patient even when a customer is probably wrong so that the impression created is positive even in such occasions. "Tact and diplomacy are skills centered around an understanding of other people and being sensitive to their opinions, beliefs, ideas and feelings". Effective use of such skills comes from being able to sense accurately what another person is feeling or thinking at any given time and then responding in such a way as to avoid bad feelings or awkwardness, whilst at the same time asserting or reflecting your own ideas and feelings back in a delicate and well-meaning fashion.
Most Important: Consider that every customer can be a potential goodwill ambassador (Internal customers also included).So the golden rule should be to resolve the dispute with the customer in a manner that is fully acceptable to the customer."A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all".
Do you agree? #Thanks for reading and appreciate your comments on this subject.Please share your experiences on "What could be done by organizations to turn every customer into a goodwill ambassador"?
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