Let’s face it: Everyone makes a boo-boo sometimes. Whether it’s a late delivery, invoicing error or (ouch) a “lemon” of a new product, slip ups are never good for business. However, they don’t have to spoil customer relationships, particularly if you prove to be responsive to the problem and can still successfully argue what makes your company a great service partner overall.
So how do you sweeten distaste after a less than five-star performance? Here are a few ideas:
Accept blame and apologize. The age-old saying that “the customer is always right” endures… at least if you want to keep your customers happy. When problems occur, even if they’re due to a client’s misunderstanding of the situation, look for ways to acknowledge your role (however small) in the error and say you’re sorry. Oftentimes, customers simply want to be recognized for their value. Consider sending a notepad with an imprinted clip holding a coupon for a future discount!
Be grateful. Thank your customers who complain. So often we’re blind to areas in which we can improve. Show that you care by following up criticism with a bounce-back survey to collect feedback for further improvements. Include an imprinted pen/flashlight to make responding convenient. Thank the respondent for shedding light on how you can serve them better.
Show determination. Once you’ve addressed concerns and made company improvements, tout it to the customers who complained. Mail a hammer-shaped stress reliever, pen or miniature tool with a note that “Thanks to your input, we’ve hammered out our ‘kinks’ and hope you’ll give us another try.”
These steps will enable you to turn a sour experience into an opportunity to demonstrate your creative approach to problem-solving! If you like the concept, call us at 708-478-8222 or send us an e-mail and we’ll “stir up” some ideas together.