When was the last time customers contacted you because they was indifferent about their experience with your product? The answer is probably never. Alternatively, how many times in the last month have you gotten a social media message/comment, email, or phone call from a customer that was upset over a specific reason? The answer is probably more than a few times. Now…which scenario are you more worried about? Many of you probably gravitated towards the first scenario of this paragraph because it concerned you that people could be indifferent about your business and not speak up, leaving possible improvements to the unknown. Though that point makes sense, these indifferent customers didn’t speak up for a reason. So, why would they speak up and mention it to their networks in an impactful way?
The truth is, the way you handle those extremely upset customers are most important. The reason its so important is because upset customers are usually passionate customers. Passionate customers are the ones you want to keep around because they will be the ones that share their experience with their networks. This is the foundation of snowball referral marketing. You’ve probably heard the old phrase, “there’s a thin line between love and hate?” The truth is, intense, negative energy can be converted into positive passion with simple steps. So if your business experiences a disgruntled customer, don’t chock it up to “well, you win some, you lose some.” You have been presented an amazing opportunity. Angry customers can become amazing advocates. You just need to adjust your mindset and adopt the right method.
Here is my “3-Step Approach to Turning that Frown Upside Down with Customers”
- Assume the Customer is the most important person in the world. Most of the time we judge a person with our own biases. This is plain wrong. Assume each person is the most important person in the world because they honestly could be. I might come in your store after a workout and you judge me because of my clothing/sweaty appearance. Little do you know I have 10K+ unique readers monthly.
- Take ownership and be transparent. A popular business personality says a lot that “America understands that mistakes happen, they don’t though respect a cover up.” Don’t throw someone or something under the bus to make yourself look good. Own up to the problem and fix it.
- Focus on the solution rather than the emotion of the situation. The first and only thing you should be thinking about is, “Let’s see what kind of options we have so we can get this resolved.” Customers like to know there is not only one solution, but many because they want to be apart of the process. They have chosen to spend their money with your company, so they are entitled to feel their needs should be met in a way they can agree with.
Sounds easy enough but these steps are missed in my experience 90% of the time. Don’t let this happen to you and your company…