Customers defect from doing business with a company for various reasons. These may include:
• Dissatisfaction with product delivery, price, service, installation, or the physical
• Failure to communicate changes
• Feelings of neglect
• Lack of social responsibility
The fact is in the long run, business profits are tied to a company’s ability to satisfy and retain customers. One should also keep in mind that it costs between two and twenty times as much to win a new customer as it does to retain an existing customer who has a complaint.
That said, winning customers’ loyalty is of paramount importance to any firm that is interested in maintaining a competitive edge within the marketplace.
The list below provides some basic steps that a firm can take in recovering lost customers.
1) Listen and empathize
One of the rights of the consumer is the right to be heard. It therefore, means that listening to customers’ complaint and taking appropriate action should be part of the regular routine of any business. It is also a time of identifying with the customer without casting blame on anyone. Simply put, It is placing one’s self in the customer’s position.
2) Admit to mistake
Companies are made up of people, and people do err from time to time. It is better to try to resolve the problem rather than trying to play the blame game. An apology may all the customer wants to hear, and there is no cost involved in making one.
3) Solve the problem
Customers are looking for solutions not excuses. The more efficient and effective one is in fixing the problem, the happier the outcome for all.
4) Make promises that are achievable
Managing the expectations of customers is one way in which a company can provide excellent value and superior customer service. It is therefore important to keep true to the principle of under promise and over deliver. Don’t promise something that is impossible to deliver as this could ruin one’s credibility.
5) Offer some form of compensation
There should be a policy in place to compensate customers when they are wronged by the company
6) Treat customers with courtesy
Thanking the customer for bringing problems or complaints to one’s attention should always be acknowledged with the view of addressing the issue immediately. This shows that one has interest in the customer and cares about them.
7) Acknowledge the history of relationship with customer
Emphasize the customer’s past patronage and the ease with which customer can now re-engage
8) Highlight changes in processes and procedures since the customer’s last purchase
9) Keep your promises
This is critical. It lends to trust and credibility, two factors that cannot be ignored in customer service
10) Follow up
Ultimately, one seeks to have a positive outcome in recovering lost customers. Therefore, follow up is necessary to ensure problems are resolved as well as the regaining of trust and confidence.
Yvad Billings, Staff Reporter