Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Are You Doing Enough to Wow Customers? - Part 4

Handling Problems

I buy many books on I buy from them because it's convenient, but I am not a loyal customer. In the past couple of months, a problem arose on a shipment relating to a book I ordered as a gift. For an unknown reason, the book got hung up in a post office in North Carolina. I received an e-mail from alerting me to the problem. They told me to contact the post office. The short and impersonal email contained no information as to which post office was holding the book and no person at I could call for additional information. The problem resolved itself but how the situation was handled left a sour taste in my mouth and impacted my perception of the brand.

Research has shown time and again that how problems are handled either builds customer loyalty or erodes it. When you have a problem—and it will happen—have a plan to handle it so you wow the customer.
  • During the resolution of the problem, treat the client as a partner, not an adversary.
  • If you are to blame, accept responsibility and offer apologies.
  • On major problems, fixing the problem may not be enough to satisfy the customer. You may need to offer atonement for the customer’s time and trouble.
  • Look at the problem from the customer's point of view. Even if they’re at fault, be sensitive to how the problem makes them look to their boss.

Tomorrow and Friday - how the bar keeps getting raised.

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