An in-depth study conducted by Technical Assistance Research Programs of Washington, D.C., uncovered some things I think you should know:
1) On average, 26 unhappy customers won’t complain for every 1 who will.
2) Yet, each of these 27 unhappy customers will tell an average of 16 other people about their bad experience with your company.
3) This means, every complaint you hear could represent 432 negative impressions! How many clients should have to complain to you before you take action to permanently remedy a problem?
By the time you hear a particular complaint 3 times, it is possible that the problem may have been mentioned to an average of 1296 people!
4) It costs 5 times as much to attract a new customer as it costs to keep an old one.
5) 91% of your unhappy customers will never use your service again.
6) However, if you make a focused effort to remedy your customer’s complaints, 82% will stay with you.
What should you do when people complain? Above all, don’t become defensive! You need to communicate with an attitude that says, “I want to understand the problem so I can fix it and make you happy.”
Here are 3 questions to ask the client that will bail you out every time:
1) “What has happened?” Ask this question calmly and with genuine concern.
2) “What should have happened?” You must clearly understand the customer’s expectations before you can attempt to correct the problem.
3) “What can I do to make it right?”
This will calm even the angriest customer.
Now go find an unhappy customer and turn their day around!
The First Step In Business Growth Is To Keep The Customers You’ve Already Got. Eight years ago, I was cleaning the carpet in a doctor’s office and the receptionist came over from across the hall to tell me about the bad experience they just had with another carpet cleaner. She said, they could not get him to come back and fix the problem, either. I told her to check with the doctor to see if I could correct the problem for them next week at no cost.
They called me the first thing on Monday morning and I re-cleaned several offices for
them that I normally would have charged $129.00 for. Long story – short… I now clean
5 different locations for them as well as those of 7 other doctors they recommended me
to, and have been doing this now for 8 years!
Ray “Rambo” Moody
Copyright 2002 Ray Moody. All rights reserved.
Used here by permission of Ray Moody.