When customers take the time to engage with you and ask for help or complain, it is always an opportunity to delight.
The stages look something like:
1. Thank You
2. I'm Sorry for Everything
3. I Apologize for Everything
4. I Have Some Alternatives or Beg for Time
5. Thank You For Letting Us Know
6. Close with an Appropriate Commitment
7. Follow Up With Additional Value
Somewhere between steps 2 and 3, you want to repeat your understanding of what the customer is saying. Step 4 can be the toughest because it requires the ability to find one or more answers to the identified problem. This is why it can take time to research if this is not a recurring issue. This is also where the potential value of the customer and the cost of responding have to be considered. Not every customer is a revenue opportunity. Due to limited resources, step 4 is where you may need to point the customer to a self service approach. This is also where you can open the door to highly valued expertise if the customer potential justifies it. Empathy can go a long way in supporting a customer. Over the years, I have found customers to be reasonable in their demands relative to the value of their business as long as you deal with them honestly, genuinely listen to their concerns, and give them the best you have to offer at the time. In somce cases, this will be more than they expect and while not completely satisfied, they will leave with a positive experience and come back to try again.
The sure way to disapoint customers and damage your brand is to make commitments and never follow up on those commitments. If you get heads nodding in that direction about your brand experience, you are in trouble.
Filtered access to experts is your ace in the hole and this is an important resource to identify when you are in the service end of your business. Ask for this support with every launch. Record these experts wherever you find them. Reward these key resources at every opportunity with recognition for a job well done. Build your empathy internally and you will find that you will delight more and more customers as you go.
This Web site is aimed at capturing some of the basic concepts I use when creating integrated marketing programs and leveraging the internet.
Phil Gibson ©2016