by Patricia Weber
Is it worth while to refund a product when the return period is over? Why bother to keep
in mind the adage, "The customer is always right, even when they are wrong?" How
much trouble is it to take a 60 second break to act and think upbeat even when you are
not? How you and your company respond to these questions can determine the strength and
resilience to get, and what is more important, keep customers. Let's put reality to a
formula that does not require a calculator. Some calculations yes, but no tough math.
Research and statistics from the TARP Report, a standard reference for customer service
experts, provide the structure for the formula.
You start with one customer, just one, who for some reason you did not service
satisfactorily. Maybe it was an attitude or disinterested tone you communicated. Maybe it
was a billing problem. One poor encounter, one customer lost.
One disappointed customer represents 6 others who also are not happy. Those other 6 are
just keeping their dissatisfaction a secret from you. One plus six is - 7.
We can count on the average disappointed customer to tell at least 9 others. Considering
we have 7 dissatisfied customers from the one brave soul who told us we were not up to
par, now 7 will tell 9 people each. From easy multiplication, that's 63 people who will
hear about this negative experience. To keep the calculators away, round this to 64.
We know there is an assumed level of influence of 25%. Only one quarter of those 64 will
act on what they hear. This means 16 people are likely not to do business with a company
who can't deliver satisfactorily, or who somehow communicate an attitude of rudeness or
indifference. Pandora's box is wide open.
Multiply this 16 by the average revenue for your product or service. Say you sell a
service that costs $1,000. One negative encounter just cost you and your company $16,000.
What would the potential loss be if you multiply that out over the number of purchases a
customer is likely to make in a life time? What if two people in your organization did
something to lose one customer today? Immense, immeasurable loss.
With all this costly talk, why don't customers tell you before they chatter incessantly?
Think for a moment. Why don't you complain? You don't think it will make a difference. You
want to avoid the stress. It's just as easy to find someplace else to buy from. These are
the same reasons your customers may not come back.
What's the good news? One complaining customer is your opportunity to improve. You can
rescue the potential, immense loss when you improve on what that one customer complains
about. Provide a solution that they agree is more than satisfactory. Statistics show that
7 out of 10 customers will do business with an organization again if a complaint is
resolved in their favor relatively quickly. Listen. Respond. Resolve.
Effective Follow-Up – The Art of True Concern
Here's how you can boost your sales and hone customer relations.
It's the Service After the Sale that Builds Your Brick & Mortar Business:
Five Tips For Improving Customer Service
Here are five tips on providing outstanding customer service to continue to generate new and repeat
Winning Customer Experiences
What makes a winning customer
experience? What makes customers come back to your business instead of going to someone else's? If your repeat business is low, what is it that you are doing to drive your customers away?