I’m Impressed (and of course satisfied)

increase customer satisfaction

Increase customer satisfaction – I usually go to Mardin’s mechanic shop to service my car. Mardin’s shop is an automotive repair shop that services all kinds of cars, not limited to a specific brand.

Once in a while though, I’d go to the local dealership maintenance shop to have my car serviced there, since they are the specialists who only service my car’s brand. A few weeks ago I did just that, and I have to say I’m surprised read more…

World Class Customer Service – How To Handle Customer Complaints

world class customer service 1 world class customer service 2

Whatever business you’re in, there are bound to be customer complaints. You simply can’t please everybody. Even if you’ve provided world class customer service and done your absolute best to deliver your promise to customers, complaints are inevitable.

In this article, I’d like to discuss the issue of customer complaints. This will be divided into 3 parts:

1. WHY customers complain

2. WHAT to do about it

3. HOW to handle complaints

It is important to first and foremost understand WHY customers complain. Only after comprehending the reasons behind their complaints can we think of a plan on WHAT to do about it. Then again, simply knowing what to do about it is not enough, which is why we need to learn HOW to handle their complaints.

WHY Customers Complain

Customers buy your products and services because they want to solve problems and are looking for solutions to overcome these problems.

When they buy your dating e-course, they want to get dating partners fast.

When they buy your software, it’s because they want to save time and effort by NOT doing the same repetitive tasks manually.

When they buy a Nintendo Wii, it’s because they want to give it to their children as presents so that they’re regarded as “good parents” or so that the children want to do their schoolwork as part of an agreement, or they simply love playing games (for a whole bunch of different reasons).

So in a nutshell they buy because they’re looking for solutions to solve their problems.

Now, when they’re unable to solve their problems after buying your products or services, some will complain, REGARDLESS of whether your product doesn’t deliver on its promises or because it’s their fault for not following the instructions and guide that came with your product.

In any case, they complain.

WHAT To Do About It

When a customer complains about your product or service, it’s human tendency to be very EMOTINAL about it. By this I mean our emotional instincts take over and completely block out how we think LOGICALLY.

For the past few years, we’ve often heard that we need to be more emotionally intelligent if we want to be successful. It simply isn’t enough to just have a very high IQ but on the other hand possess a poor EQ (emotional quotient).

As far as that might sound to be true, when are talking about customer complaints, we want to think as logically as we possibly can. We need to think about the long term effects these complaints will have on our business.

What we should do is ACKNOWLEDGE their complaints – to do this we need to be thinking very logically instead of emotionally.

When we think logically we can analyze the situation based on what “good” or “benefits” will come out of it.

If we were to think emotionally, we tend to be VERY DEFENSIVE about our products and DO NOT want to acknowledge their complaints and instead defend our products…

Take a look at the following scenario:

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Customer:

I want a refund ASAP. You liar! Your product sucks and doesn’t deliver on its promises! You’re wasting my precious time and if you don’t honor my refund request, I’m going to bad-mouth you to ever person I encounter!

You:

You claimed that my product sucks. Which part of it? My product is one of the best of its kind, and if you think it sucks, it’s because you don’t know how to use it! As stated in the guarantee, I only honor refunds if you can prove to me that you’ve been using my product exactly as stated in the guide. If not, there is no refund!

Customer:

You stupid jerk! Bla bla bla…

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I’m pretty sure the above scenario would continue in a heated argument. Customer and you (the product owner) will even be A LOT angrier and more pissed off than ever.

The argument never ends, and the problem is not solved.

End Result: Customer never buys anything from you ever again, and he bad-mouths you everywhere he goes. You saved a little money by not honoring his refund, but you LOSE A LOT MORE in the long term as your image and brand gets tarnished.

Conclusion: It’s a lose-lose situation for both parties.

HOW To Handle Complaints

Instead of getting into a heated debate of who’s right and who’s wrong, you should instead think about the long term effects this customer complaint will have on your business.

Still the same scenario, but take a look at how you can address the complaint in a much more EFFECTIVE manner:

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Customer:

I want a refund ASAP. You liar! Your product sucks and doesn’t deliver on its promises! You’re wasting my precious time and if you don’t honor my refund request, I’m going to bad-mouth you to ever person I encounter!

You:

Thank you for your complaint. We’d certainly be glad to honor your refund. Not a problem at all. Just for our feedback, may I know which part of the product did not deliver to its promises? This would certainly help us pinpoint where we need more improvements so that we can deliver more value to our customers like yourself.

Customer:

Your product did not do X Y Z as claimed bla bla bla

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Now what do you think will happen if you were to handle a customer complaint like that?

End Result: Customer goes home happy and *maybe* feel a little bad about requesting a refund. You might lose a little money by honoring his refund, but at least he doesn’t go everywhere and bad-mouths your product.

Even more valuable than this is the fact that you get valuable customer feedback about your product. This will enable you to improve your current product and thus make it more powerful and complete than before.

Lessons To Be Learned

I hope you can see and understand the importance of effectively handling customer complaints. There are basically 3 parts to it:

1. ACKNOWLEDGE customers’ complaints about your product.

2. Make it up to them as much as you possibly can (gladly honor a refund if they ask for it; if they didn’t ask for a refund, you can also refund their money to “surprise” and “wow” them). Saying “sorry” is NOT enough. To see a REAL case study of how I did this in my business, click here.

3. Ask for their feedback which part of your product does not deliver, and strive to improve your product.

How do you handle customer complaints? I’d love to hear your thoughts about your view of world class customer service, so please leave them in a comment below…

Deliver Customer Satisfaction = No Cost Marketing?

deliver customer satisfaction

Back To Where It All Started

About 3 weeks ago, a customer of WOW Minisites placed a design order to have an ecover created for one of her products. For simplicity reasons, let’s just call this customer C.

(By the way if you’re still in the dark, WOW Minisites is a minisite and ecover design service specifically catered for Internet marketers and product owners, and WOW Minisites is one of my Internet businesses).

The turnaround time for delivering an ecover is 3 working days or less. Yet, after a week we still have not designed C’s ecover.

You see, for some weird reasons (I‘m guessing a human error on our part), our team did not receive C’s order, even though she had paid in full.

So a week passed and realizing there still weren’t any updates on her ecover, C contacted us and asked about her order. It was then that we realized that we missed C’s order and had not even started on designing her ecover.

We immediately refunded C’s money completely and offered to design her ecover for Free PLUS another completely different ecover Free of charge as well. In addition, we started work on C’s order at once and in a few hours time, we completed her ecover design.

Very Impressed

C was so impressed by what we did for her that she said she’ll come back to us for ALL her graphic needs PLUS she is going to refer our service to LOTS of people.

This is real proof that if you provide GREAT customer service and deliver customer satisfaction, then people are going to be so impressed with you (even after you’ve disappoint them) that there’s a chance that they become your customer for life.

And the really AWESOME thing is they will talk about us and refer their friends to our service.

How cool is that? This is word of mouth marketing at its best! And you don’t even have to spend a single red cent!

Customer Service Is THAT Important

In running a business, you simply can’t SURVIVE without providing customer service.

In running a SUCCESSFUL business, you simply CAN’T DO WELL without providing GREAT customer service.

I hope you pay very close attention to the 2 statements above as they are THAT important.

As humans, we are prone to make mistakes. Even computers make mistakes too when they start to crash. Computer programs and softwares also have bugs in them.

That said, it is okay to make mistakes. The most important things are:

1. Learn from the mistakes so as not to commit the same ones in the future

2. Compensating our clients for the mistakes we’re responsible for

Saying “Sorry” Is NOT Enough

Number 1 is pretty self-explanatory.

Number 2 means saying a mere “sorry” to our customers is NOT enough. It may be enough a few years ago when you don’t really have a lot of competitors and apologizing for something you’ve done wrong can get you by.

With the fierce competition out there today in virtually every market, doing “just enough” to “get by” is almost guaranteed to doom your business.

Customers have a lot of choices today when it comes time for them to buy whatever they want to buy. Why should they choose you over your competitors? More importantly, everything else being equal, why would they WANT to choose you when your customer service is subpar compared to that of your competitors?

Though price is an important factor, competing on price alone is not enough in this day and age.

While there are a few different ways to differentiate yourself from the competition, one of the best ways is through EXCELLENT customer service.

Because when you provide excellent customer service and customers are satisfied, then they’ll keep coming back for more and they’ll be very eager to tell their friends about you.

Customer service experience is a BIG DEAL to most, if not all, customers.

Summing Up

To sum up this post, we’ve learned that:

Providing above-average (GREAT) customer service to deliver customer satisfaction is one of the most important factors that will determine the success of your business. Be sure not to disappoint your customers. If you do disappoint them, make sure you find a way to compensate them for the error on your part. Don’t simply say I’m sorry because sorry is not enough.

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about satisfying your customers, you can take a look at an article I wrote some time back.

Please post your thoughts and feedback in a comment below as me and other blog readers would love to hear what you have to say…