3 Ways to Recover a Dissatisfied Customer

Customer-loyalty-cycleWhen customers complain, they give you another chance to satisfy their expectations.
.
A few years ago an interesting book on this subject by Paul R. Timm caught my attention.
.
I love these three customer service tips from one of his books.
.
Three Ways to show customers that you’re willing to go the extra mile for them.
 .

(1.) Use the 2F model.  Let the customer vent.
.
Then express your concern and acknowledge the customer’s feelings by using the words “feel” and “felt.”
 .
In most situations, words like those help you gain the upset customer’s attention so you can start resolving the situation.
 .
“I understand why you feel this way.I’m sure I would have felt that way too.”
 .

(2.) Acknowledge the inconvenience
 .
A simple apology can go a long way, if it is sincere and personal. “I’m sorry you had to wait” sounds better than “the company regrets the delay.”
 .

(3.) Follow up to see that the problem was solved
.  And always check with the customer to make sure the “fix” held up.
 .

Words that Matter Most

buddha-tnIt was a few minutes after 4 o’clock on a sunny Thursday afternoon when my mother got the call.

“Your son broke his leg during a basketball game and he has been taken to the hospital.”

She rushed to the hospital where our parish priest met her in the emergency room.

He was a very kind priest who wanted to comfort a distraught mother concerned about her son.  Father Quinn meant well.

In fact he wanted to encourage my mother, assuring her that her son would be okay.

Then he said those first words that ruined everything else he said.

Troubling Words

“Don’t worry, gangrene won’t set in.”

WHAT?

The thought of gangrene had not entered my mother’s mind.

After talking with the doctor, she learned that gangrene was not a possibility.

Whew.  What a relief!

What COULD Father Quinn have said?

Better Words

“Tom will be okay.  The doctor is with him now.”

This would have been much more comforting than his first words, even though Father Quinn meant well.

There are times when our words could be more carefully chosen.

Even when we want to say just the right thing for the immediate situation.

I still regret the first words I said to a co-worker after her 13-year old son had been shot and killed.

“You are strong. You can get through this.”

Kinder Words

I SHOULD have said: “I am so sorry for your loss.”

I really was sorry for her loss and still am. It was a tragic, accidental shooting at a friend’s house who was showing off his father’s gun collection.

Then there are the words never spoken…

…written in a recent post by Alexandra Franzen: “You might be the only one.”

The thoughtful words in Franzen’s post remind us to take the time to reach out to someone who needs a kind word.

Read more about the importance of words on this page

and here

and on this page

and  “Get Better Answers with This Question.”

 

Creative Marketing Wins Skeptics

yoga-tnKathryn is a tenured professor at a university in Maryland.

She is a runner, a talented writer and a lover of dogs and Yoga.

(This is not actually a photo of Kathryn, but it IS a Yoga pose.)

Kathryn wants to bring Yoga to everybody, especially to people who believe they are not the “Yoga type.”

To draw more folks to her Sunday Yoga classes, she spreads the word through friends, neighbors, students and email.

Her email is a creative attention getter.

“I am again leading Good Karma Yoga on Sunday, 4 pm, for EVERYBODY!

“We especially welcome skeptics, doubters, newbies, anxious people, un-flexible people, not-stretchy people, old people, broke people, broke-down people, thick people, intimidated people.

“We have mats and everything you need.

“We ask a donation of $5, more if you can afford to share.

“All money goes to yoga for those who cannot afford to access yoga.

“Good for you; good for others; good karma.

“Bring your kids for the Good Karma Yoga if they are over 11.

“I promise you will be glad you did.

“Wear comfortable clothes.

“Every Sunday at 4 pm.”

SUCCESS

Kathryn’s first Yoga class – after spreading the word – was filled with 40 new Yoga students!

On another subject, you can see a different type of creative marketing on this page.
.
PS – Update: the “skeptics” who were part of Kathryn’s first Good Karma Yoga class have been back Sunday after Sunday.

 

Read more about Kathryn – along with her actual photo.

 

This Will Make You Think Twice About How You Are Perceived

marketing-conceptsOkay. I’ll admit it: I was taken in by the low price advertising of discount super stores.

*  “Deep Discounts” and

*  “Lowest Prices!”

Like many consumers, I had the impression – the perception – that most products were lower in price at the discount warehouse.

Reality

When shopping for a camera, I compared prices at several different sources:

(1.) A discount super store,

(2.) The Internet

(3.) A small, locally-owned camera store.

Surprise

Not only was there a price difference, but a pretty good-sized price difference.

The camera was the same price in the discount store as on the Internet.

But the price at the small local camera store was $20.00 less!

Two different accessories for the camera were also less expensive at the local camera store.

My price perception was very different than the reality.

Added Value

In addition, the clerks in the discount store knew very little about the features of the camera.

But the person in the local camera store not only told me everything I needed to know about it, he gave me a demonstration and showed me how to use the camera.

Even if the price had been the same or higher, I felt there was a lot more value attached to buying the camera at the local store.

How Are You Perceived?

How do your customers feel about your company?

What is their perception?

Do they really understand the value you offer?

When buyers compare your products and services to discount stores, are they comparing apples to oranges?

Do they know that when they do business with your company, they will be getting much more than just good products?

In the camera-shopping situation, I could have shopped only at the discount store.

But because of the lack of product knowledge available in the discount store, I looked for value and found it at the locally-owned camera store.

The local store does not advertise the extra benefits they offer: locally-owned business, personal service, product knowledge, competitive pricing.

Getting the Word Out

If your customers are not aware that you offer much more than just products, they may shop elsewhere.

If they think price is the only difference between you and your competitors, there may not be much incentive to buy from you.

Using telephone, email, face-to-face and direct-mail marketing that focuses on value, benefits and solutions, will increase customers’ perception that they will gain something more important than just products when they do business with you.

Get Better Answers with This Question

ask-tnIt seems so simple.

Asking questions like:

  • Where did you buy your ____________?
  • How often do you buy ___________?
  • Which brand do you prefer?

The Problem

Prospects lose interest after hearing too many ordinary closed-ended questions.

There is a MUCH better question you can ask – to get the info you need.

The key to getting the best answers:

Keep questions open-ended.

Your initial question can establish rapport, trust and respect.

If they trust and like you they are more likely to buy.

You can get to know their needs and wants better if you ask the right questions.

These would be fact finding – open-ended questions.

Examples – good open-ended questions:

  • “What went into the decision to purchase your copier?”
    (NOT “why did you buy that copier” which puts them on the defensive.)
  • “How are you currently handling back order situations?”
    (NOT “do you have a second source in case you have a back order situation?”)
  • “How would you describe that experience?”

With these questions you can uncover information that will allow you to come back on a follow up appointment and have the information that can motivate them to purchase.

Looking for more ideas on the best questions to ask?

You will learn how to ask questions that get the information you need – in the shortest amount of time, when you are part of my e-course.

In this 4-week one-to-one coaching I will work with you privately to help you create opening statements that can eliminate rejection, create trust and earn new business for you in the next 28 days.

Because this e-Course includes 4 weeks of once-a-week private sales training & coaching where I will work personally with you, the course is limited to the first 10 who register.

When you join me in this one-to-one Sales Success e-Course,

You Will:

• Learn how to create your own unique opening statement which will motivate prospects to become more interested and end up in more sales for you and

• Use authentic words that will cause the prospect to trust you and feel that you are there to help her rather than “just get the sale.”

• Find out exactly how to create trust during the first call.

• Learn the 4 words never to say at the beginning of your outbound phone calls.

• Discover specific questions to ask the prospect that will motivate her to think and share important information you need to move forward with the sale.

• And much, much more.

To register and/or have a conversation about your goals, just send me a message.  I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Here’s wishing you a cool and happy day!

- Ann