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When customers are unhappy with service they have two options: They can say something (talkers) Or they can walk away (walkers). 20092© Jacqui Knight
Walkers give businesses no chance to fix what was wrong. Research tells us that walkers tell twenty people about the bad deal they/think they got – about five times as many as a satisfied customer would tell! 20093© Jacqui Knight
It’s cheaper to keep customer loyal than to acquire new customers. A cellphone company calculated it cost $200-$300 to acquire a new customer, including advertising, direct marketing etc. But keeping that customer cost only $20-$30! 20094© Jacqui Knight
Talkers give us an opportunity to return them to a state of satisfaction so they are more likely to buy from us again. So as much as we might not like negative feedback, customers who complain are giving us a gift. 20095© Jacqui Knight
If we see complaints as gifts we can more readily use the information complaints generate to grow our business. 20096© Jacqui Knight
Customer complaints are one of the most available and yet under-utilised sources of consumer and market information. As such they can become the foundation for a company’s quality and service recovery programme. 20097© Jacqui Knight
Many people find it hard to accept criticism. According to statistics up to half the buying public has some type of complaint each year. 15-25% of all purchases involve a problem. 20098© Jacqui Knight
We cannot possibly try and keep everyone happy. What we can do is ascertain why some people aren’t happy… and try to address that. Welcome constructive feedback as a way of gathering free marketing data and use it to increase sales and profits. 20099© Jacqui Knight
By caring about the customer enough to ask what is wrong, and how we can fix it we can turn that complaining customer, the walker, quite quickly into a friend. We just have to look at things from their point of view. Sometimes it means we have to admit we ‘stuffed up’. 200910© Jacqui Knight
If customers get good service when they’ve complained, they will come back. They’ll go out of their way to go longer distances. They will be willing to pay higher prices and say good things. 200911© Jacqui Knight
BUT If they walk away... they will tell all their friends. 200912© Jacqui Knight
Those friends will remember if your name comes up in conversation and the story will grow too! 200913© Jacqui Knight
The point is to not alienate people that aren’t happy. Or for that matter, people you don’t like… people who your friends don’t like…or people that have grudges against you, your family or friends. Treat everyone the same when you’re in business. 200914© Jacqui Knight
It can be an educational and rewarding experience turning walkers into talkers. Learn to look at body language as you deal with customers. 200915© Jacqui Knight
Perhaps they’re confused as to how you calculated the charge. Or they don’t understand your service or product. 200916© Jacqui Knight
There is a process for dealing with irate customers. 200917© Jacqui Knight
Firstly, thank the person for the complaint and explain why you appreciate it. This tends to disarm the person. 200918© Jacqui Knight
It is difficult to perceive you as the enemy when you are expressing appreciation for the chance to do something constructive about the problem. It also helps you adjust your own attitude. 200919© Jacqui Knight
Justifiably or not, the angry customer’s perception is that you have disappointed her or him. Sometimes you can fix the problem. 200920© Jacqui Knight
At least you can provide more information – the background for understanding the realities that are perceived as the problem. Sometimes you can’t achieve anything – but at least you have the opportunity to try. 200921© Jacqui Knight
Customers who complain can be seen as troublemakers or assets. The choice is yours! 200922© Jacqui Knight
If you choose to see their message as useful information and an opportunity, then the interaction is less stressful for us and more productive. 200923© Jacqui Knight
See COMPLAINTS as GIFTS Turn the TALKERS into WALKERS and they’ll come RUNNING back. 200924© Jacqui Knight
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