What is your signature response to problems? Read more at Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch
Exceeding expectations is one of the ways to generate goodwill, positive buzz and happy customers. In my opinion, responding proactively to problems is one of the easiest ways to exceed expectations available.
Problems happen, that’s a fact. You can choose to respond to customer challenges, problems, let-downs, screw-ups, and mistakes in one of two ways. You can ignore them and create the kind of friction that rocks your trust to the ground. Or you can respond in this kind of over-the-top, out-of-control, whatever kind of thing. doesn’t which can turn problems into goldmines. If you want to exceed expectations, choose the latter!
For the longest time, Nordstrom had a policy that provided no-questions-asked refunds, without any time limit, without a receipt. A variation of that policy persists today. This policy is often cited as an example whenever someone talks about customer service. But it’s really a signature response to a customer problem, and it’s become something that creates incredible word of mouth for them.
Creating what I call your signature response to problem-solving takes a bit of thought, planning, implementation, and even training, but it can become a very valuable tool for your organization. I’ve mapped out four things you can do to quickly, proactively, and creatively address customer problems with your own signature response.
1. Invite and Reward Customer Feedback
The first step in making problem-solving a core marketing method is to encourage your customers to tell you when something isn’t right. It may sound like a simple thing, but there is a lot of research that suggests that about 90% of your customers facing a problem will just be silently unhappy.
You should state clearly in all of your marketing copy that you welcome feedback and won’t rest until your customer is thrilled. Explain guarantees, return policies, and make it very clear how to contact you via phone, mail, live chat, web, or email. You should build satisfaction surveys, results reviews and even random phone follow-ups into your standard operating procedures.
Of course, simply asking for feedback and then sending it down the black hole isn’t enough; You have to answer.
2. Create Feedback
To get the full effect with this idea, you need to design a way to automatically respond to solve a customer’s problem. Some of this can and should be clearly defined, no strings attached, guarantees and return policies, but you also need to add some flair. Here’s how you turn a response into a signature response by adding some creativity to this step. For example, does the CEO show-up with a bouquet of flowers, does the customer get a free month of service right away and a dedicated service representative to help guide them through the challenge, do you fix it? Do whatever you have to do?
The key here is to do something that gets the customer the result they want, but also provides a little ‘wow’ that they can’t help but notice because it was unexpected.
Occasionally, we receive notes from customers who have purchased one of our products but feel it is not what they expected and would like to return it. We happily refund their purchase price, but instead of asking them to return it, we ask them to gift it to another business owner. It’s such a simple thing on our end, but it creates a really warm response every time we present it.
3. hurry up
Speed matters in problem-solving—especially in a world full of technology that meets and maintains our desires for instant gratification. You need to act quickly. Fast response times make customers feel that their concerns are important. in a study by CMO CouncilThe most important feature of a good customer experience, according to the customers themselves, is a fast response time.
Zappos is known for its incredible customer support. They have 24/7 live chat, email, phone and social support available. Customers expect their problems to be resolved, and fast – this is another prime example of a signature response that they have designed for themselves.
4. Empower Your Team to Fix the Problem
Another really important piece of the problem-solving puzzle is blame. When you make a mistake, admit it and move on to correct it. When your customer makes a mistake, well, go ahead and fix it. There is no benefit to the customer admitting that they were wrong, even when they were wrong. One of my favorite business expressions is said by my employees in my best dad voice: Fix the problem, not the blame.
The way to ensure that your signature response to problems is actually as designed is to empower your employees to fix the problem, not blame!
Let them know that they will do whatever they can to make the customer happy while you have a set of policies designed to make their lives simple and your business profitable. Now, if it bothers you more than a little bit that you’ll be taken advantage of then maybe you need to refine the people you’re attracting as customers. There will always be people who try to take advantage of your will, but the key lies in setting reasonable expectations throughout all of your marketing messages.
Avoiding ruining a deal by reacting in an unexpected way is usually how you build positive buzz and customers for life.
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