As most brands will tell you, the cost of a poor customer service experience is high. According to an American Express study, 55% of consumers have intended to make a purchase but eventually backed out due to a poor service experience. A GetSatisfaction study further found that 71% of customers eventually ended a business relationship due to poor service, while 61% took their business to a competitor brand after such an experience. The statistics may be daunting, but customers are also willing to give a second chance when a brand makes an effort to recognize them. According to a Lee Resources study, 70% of customers will give business to a brand that resolves an issue in the customer’s favor. So how can you turn a disgruntled customer into a happy, and even loyal, one? Here are six tips to follow.
Be a good listener. No matter what the channel of contact, hearing out the customer is crucial. Being patient on the phone and using a supportive tone are important, but the same is true for social media platforms and any text-based exchanges. Listening to the customer simply means giving him a chance to explain what went wrong, and ultimately validating his feelings with a genuine apology and offer to set things right.
Take responsibility and apologize. On behalf of the company, it’s always important to apologize and make sure the customer does not take the blame. Customers need to know that their business as well as their time are valued, and that they especially don’t deserve difficult situations where the brand is truly at fault. Appeasing frustrated customers is the first step to winning back their trust and loyalty.
Offer a timely resolution and deliver it. Once the problem has been identified, it’s time to offer a swift resolution. The agent should repeat the main points the customer discussed for clarity before offering the optimal resolution. At this point, the agent then needs to make sure that every aspect of the proposed resolution is delivered. The customer should be told what step will be taken next, when a deliver may occur, and all relevant tracking or case number information to ensure seamless service. Delivering upon a promise after a poor customer service experience is key to winning back customer faith and loyalty.
Make a goodwill gesture. Your customer is likely frustrated, and has certainly lost time. To help him overcome a poor customer service experience, making a goodwill gesture can go a long way. If your brand was at fault, it is especially important to compensate the customer for the inconvenience with some kind of credit or upgrade to help rectify the problem. Remember that a customer’s act of reaching out to report a problem is a veiled opportunity to start over again fresh, so make the most of it with a humble and genuine gesture.
Follow up with the customer. Once your brand has properly addressed the customer case, take another step to make sure the customer is satisfied. Follow up with the customer (ideally on his preferred channel) to ensure that the problem was resolved to his satisfaction. This is also a great time to send a customer feedback survey and compare the results to any previous feedback the customer may have given. Let the customer know you truly care to improve and appreciate this second chance to do so.
Discuss and resolve the root issue across teams. What does all this mean for the brand representatives? Difficult customer service experiences should be viewed as learning opportunities to discuss during meetings and training sessions. The concerned teams should be able to analyze and discuss the root issues once they have been identified, and peer feedback can be useful in making amends such as revising call scripts or a database of frequently asked questions. Agents might also be better trained on their soft skills, such as conversational tone or language to use in complex situations. With clear communication across teams and a combined effort to improve, poor customer service experiences can be transformed into exceptional ones.
Customers choose to do business with your brand, so consider it an honor to have a chance to set things right when things go wrong. Embrace unhappy customers to truly understand what could be done better, and take the next steps with confidence and a genuine desire to regain their trust. It takes just a little effort to turn a wary customer into a satisfied one. Learn about Vocalcom contact center software solutions for delighting your customers.
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