“Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.”
– Zig Ziglar
Your customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They really don’t.
Here’s what they do expect:
- They expect you to care.
- They expect you to listen.
- They expect you to take responsibility for their experience, and to own up when you or your company has done them wrong.
- They expect you to fix your mistakes.
The first two are easy to demonstrate, and you can do them with each and every customer interaction. Show your customers you care, and listen to what they have to say.
The second two are opportunities that don’t come along with every interaction. These opportunities are specific to customers with complaints.
So when a customer comes to you with a complaint, they’re presenting you with a rare and valuable opportunity. Do not miss that opportunity.
Take responsibility for their experience. Own up to whatever they’ve seen as poor service. Be honest, and be humble. Don’t make excuses.
And then fix it.
Yes, these opportunities are harder to cash in on than the ones where customers come to you happy. They take a little work. But if you can focus on the opportunities presented by customer complaints, rather than dreading these interactions, you’ll see that capitalizing on the hard opportunities pays the highest dividends.
Customers who believe that you care, you listen, you take responsibility for their experience, and you fix your mistakes are customers who will shout your praises from the rooftops. And the only way to prove that to a customer is to jump at the opportunity provided by a complaint.
So this week, be on the lookout for that unhappy customer, and capitalize on the opportunity before you.
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