We live in an age where pretty much anyone can start a business, but the odds of becoming victim to today’s harsh economy or living in the shadow of a rival business can be unfortunately high. While there are many advantages to selling online, it also comes with the risk of customers disengaging. It is easier than ever for a customer to walk away from a potential sale, and chances are you won’t even hear about it. Bill Gates famously told us, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” — and if you want to ensure you’re getting that chance to learn, you need to engage with not just your regular customers but with the walk-outs and near-misses.
Indeed, a mere 4% of dissatisfied customers will let your business know how they feel — which means, by Bill Gates’ reasoning, you could be missing out on 96% of your best learning opportunities. Give your customers a portal where they can offer feedback anonymously, and keep your social media outlets friendly and open so that unhappy customers can approach you easily. Try to form a relationship with them; they’ll be more likely to buy and hopefully more open about their complaint if things go wrong.
One way to appeal to unhappy customers that remain silent is to be as transparent as possible about what you do. A customer might not complain when an issue arises, but if you’ve made a mistake and you issue a public acknowledgement of where you’ve gone wrong, hopefully those clients that lost faith in you will see that your service is about to improve. The only good mistake is a mistake you own and learn from, and plenty of big shots have suffered for not recognizing this. To help prevent you making more, we proudly offer this great new infographic, which really probes the do’s and don’ts of customer service.
If you need small business funding to help keep your customers happy, you have options.
24/7 Wall St. The 10 Companies Burned Worst by Bad Press. theatlantic.com
Burns, J. 2014. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. marketingmag.com.au
Genesys Global Survey. 2009. The cost of poor customer service. Ancorlearning.com.au
Oracle. 2011. Customer experience impact report. Oracle.com
Reichheld, F. 2001. Prescription for cutting costs. Bain and Company
Murphy, L. SaaS Churn rate: What’s acceptable. Sixteenventures.com
Brainyquote. Quote on Jeff Bezos. Brainyquote.com
Maxwell, J. Quotes. Goodreads.com
Newell-Legner, R. 2014. The complete guide to dynamite customer care. Glance Source
Stirtz,K. 2008. More Loyal Customers: 21 Real World Lessons to Keep Your Customers Coming Back. Createspace.
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