Part 2: Complaint
A. Something you don’t want but have to accept,
or is it your chance?
If you’re a parent,
you’ve probably told your child sternly,
“I’m mad at you because you can do better!”.
Or when you discipline them,
you might say,
“You have to know,
this punishment hurts me more than you.”
Children don’t usually believe this right away,
but when they have children,
they will perceive it differently
than the negative feedback
they received as children.
Sometimes kids drive their parents crazy
because they don’t live up
to what we expect of them.
Children say one thing,
They often forget to deliver
on what they promised.
They speak indistinctly.
As parents, don’t ignore this behavior
if you want your children
to have a good life and become people we can be proud of.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Fred Wiersema, business strategist and author,
made an interesting point about customer churn
when he said that companies must have done very stupid things to lose them.
He said: “I disagree with the current general view
that loyalty has ceased to exist…
Most customers have an incredible attachment to you…
If you lose one customers,
that means you really treated them badly.
Is there anything wrong
with your standards of conduct?
Is there anything wrong
with your day-to-day interactions
with your customers?
Or is something else wrong?
Because you really have to behave badly
for the customer to turn away from you.”
If we consider how often businesses lose customers,
we will find that they are really stupid. Jeffrey Pfeffer,
in What Were They Thinking?
(What Are They Thinking?),
claiming that companies do stupid things,
such as driving customers away,
mainly because they don’t take customer feedback into account.
They take the job for granted
and go on doing it,
regardless of the impact of their decisions.
Horizon Group, a human resource management
and headhunting consulting firm,
found that retailers lose between 25
and 40 percent of their core customers each year.
This means that,
in order to keep the bottom line from falling,
most retailers have to work hard
to find up to 40% of new customers.
There are many ways to make customers feel uncomfortable
or even out of your store,
and several companies have tried all of them.
Two of the most common ways are ignoring negative feedback,
or handling customer complaints poorly.
Many people forget
that well-handled complaints can create even stronger bonds
between the customer and the business.
Sometimes it becomes a matter of simplicity
when you show your customers
that you appreciate them.
The Nurse Next Door service,
which operates out of Vancouver,
British Columbia, has used the “humble pie” approach
(admittedly it needs to learn more)
to keep customers.
Whenever there is a mistake,
they send it to the customer a hot apple pie,
with the words solemnly written:
“We made a mistake
and we apologize to you for this.”
To this day they still do.
It is estimated that they have kept $90,000 in revenue
from these customers with a cost of just $1,300 for apple pie,
or 1.4%. The success of Nurse Next Door is also not surprising.
Researchers have previously demonstrated
that good management
of customer complaints can help lower marketing costs
by reducing advertising.
In fact, the money saved from advertising can offset the cost
of compensating unsatisfied customers
with the company’s products.
According to these researchers’ advice,
you shouldn’t just calculate the profit margin on each account payable
when you have a dispute with a customer,
but take the bigger picture
– your total budget.
In 2004, we received an excited e-mail from a gentleman
who had attended one of our ‘A Complaint Is a Gift’ seminars.
In the letter, he told of a phone call he answered
for the forwarding department,
because the whole department had gone out to lunch together.
The customer was very angry
and demanded immediate service.
Unfortunately, there’s no way
to get her delivery at this lunchtime
because the whole department is gone.
She cursed that she would never buy another product
from this computer company again.
The representative listened calmly and in his assessment,
the customer could be the victim of service delays.
When she finally calmed down, he said,
“Oh, thank you so much for calling
and telling us about this.
This helps us a lot.
I sincerely apologize
for putting you in trouble like this.
Obviously we can do much better.
I will do all I can to arrange this for you immediately.”
There was silence on the other end of the line.
He said that by the time the forwarding department got back
to work and handled her request,
the customer thought he was the absolute best.
If I hadn’t applied the “Gift Formula” to this situation,
I don’t know what would have happened, he wrote.
Maybe I’ll say something to make her angrier,
and I’ll be shocked too.”
In many other cases,
a difficult situation creates an opportunity
for a company to make a strong impression on its customers. Zappos,
an online shoe company,
learned that a customer
who bought seven pairs of shoes
for her mother was critically ill,
but because her mother had lost a lot of weight,
she wasn’t sure
what size the shoes would be my mother’s feet or not.
The girl’s mother died not long after the shoes arrived.
In this situation,
it’s obvious that returning the shoe to an online retailer
is just the last thing on a girl’s to-do list,
even though Zappos offers
a no-fee return period of just ten years,
or five days from the date of receipt.
Meanwhile, knowing that the sizes of these shoes are conjecture,
a Zappos representative contacted her customer
and asked if she would like to return any shoes.
The girl told the agent about her mother’s death
and said she would return the shoes as soon as possible.
It’s not like this heartbreaking woman meant to complain,
but most clients hope to be treated gently by the company
while they are dealing
with personal circumstances
that make it difficult for them.
comply with company regulations.
Zappos decided to step in.
They arranged for the express delivery company UPS
to come to the woman’s house
and deliver the shoes to the company,
the girl was saddened
by her mother’s death because of this no need
to bring the shoes to the UPS express company yourself.
The next day,
Zappos immediately sent a large bouquet of flowers to her house.
The woman wrote online:
“I burst into tears at their act of great kindness,
and if it wasn’t one of the best things
that ever happened to me,
I don’t know what else in the world would have happened. there.
So… IF YOU ARE INTENTION TO BUY SHOES ONLINE, BUY ZAPPOS SHOES.
With such kind people,
you know well that they are always a reliable partner.”
A true story that makes people say an emotional “Oh” after reading.
This comment was posted online on July 7, 2007.
More than four months later,
181 responses were also posted online.
The comment section above is linked
to thousands of different Web sites
by people who appreciate Zappos’s nice gesture.
There are hundreds of blogs about this story
and you are reading it right now.
B. Complaints often contain the customer’s wishes
Customer complaints tell businesses
how they can improve their services and products
and thereby help them maintain market share.
Leslie Byrne says that
when she was director of the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA),
she could tell which companies are satisfying customers and which ones,
simply by how to listen to the content
of the OCA customer support line,
where complaints do not spare a single company.
She cites a case study on complaint handling
and OCA’s conclusion:
“It’s not a piece of hard to swallow
as many managers think it is,
but a valuable source of information for management. treat”.
“Invite your manager on a customer enquiry hotline
so that he knows what customers are thinking
and he will surely quickly find out
what needs to be done right in the organization. mine.”
John David, formerly a sales representative for IBM,
commented on the competition:
“The secret to selling is
to establish a direct communication channel
from the customer’s brain straight
to the salesperson’s ear.
When you clearly understand what customers want
and don’t want,
what makes them happy or complains,
you can adjust your vision accordingly
and stay one step ahead of the competition.”
Eileen McDargh, author and speaker,
wants to order an inflatable water bag
that can be placed in the bathtub
and can hold several gallons(3) of clean water.
It’s a much-needed product
for any resident living in Florida’s hurricane-prone area.
McDargh, who lives in California,
saw the ad in the Fort Lauderdale News and immediately
ordered a bag for her mother,
who lives in Florida. The phone number in the ad wasn’t correct,
but McDargh thought the product was useful,
so she persisted in going online
and trying to order there.
Unfortunately, she was unable to order online
because the product was sent to a different address
than her credit card address.
She found the company’s phone number
and called it directly.
The operator reminded her
that they do not accept orders
if the product is sent to an address other
than the billing address on the credit card!
The company left out valuable information
when McDargh hung up the phone in frustration.
First of all, the misspelled toll-free number in their (paid)
ad doesn’t bring them
add a customer. Second,
as McDargh said,
there are a lot of Floridaers living in other cities.
Chances are, they are not in Florida
when they see the ad,
but they want to buy such a product
for their loved ones living in Florida. McDargh said:
“With this kind of service quality,
how can people trust their products?”.
Fred Wiersema says that clients
who’ve been in situations like McDargh can drive you crazy,
but in the end, they’re leading you into your own future.
He explains that these “lead” customers
– if you listen to them
– will take you to a place
where you will inevitably have to go in the future, too.
If businesses are able to recognize
and fulfill the needs
and wants of their customers,
they are certainly willing
to pay more for those products,
even though they keep saying
that they shop on the basis of consideration
for their customers price of the product.
Then, companies will have more money to spend on research
and development of products
that they know will meet the needs of customers.
This cycle if repeated from both the buyer
and the seller will reduce the cost of the product.
Customer complaints also provide the opportunity
to form incredibly close relationships with customers.
Not having these kinds of relationships
leaves the company vulnerable to losing customers.
One client submitted a Matt Woodward blog post about the obvious:
“Don’t you love companies that really understand you?
Companies that strive to be ready
to serve and be accountable
to all customers create a true sense of trust and loyalty.”
Jim Norton, writing about small businesses
that spring up like mushrooms after the rain,
regrets the price they pay for ignoring customer complaints.
He described a business situation
between two companies that still baffled him after many years.
The previous company he worked
for made a serious mistake
that made their client’s company seem very frustrated,
but they did not complain a word
and quietly decided
to stop cooperating with his company.
Jim when the contract expires.
This information is kept confidential by the other party.
A year later,
Norton’s firm received a letter
from the client’s attorney stating
that the contract would not be renewed.
Norton is forced to believe that “Customers say
what they think about the flaws in your product or service
because they want you to be better.
And the people who don’t,
they want you to fail.”
He said it was a dream client
that everyone wanted to deal with,
but as a result he was unable
to keep that client.
He had no signal or clue that the company was about
to give up his company.
A research team polled 1,179 supermarket shoppers
and found that satisfied customers were more likely
to complain than others.
Then, after much more extensive research,
they discovered that after complaining,
these customers became more loyal.
The research team also compared the complaining customers
with so-called “loyal customers”
who were very satisfied
with their shopping experience.
They found that both groups were similar in age
and frequency of shopping:
45 years old and shopping at least once a month.
In other words,
and complaining customers are not much different.
If so, then when talking to a complaining customer,
think of this as one of your loyal customers.
This mentality will help you find the right way
to deal with customers in difficult situations.
Every time they listen to customers’ opinions,
companies will have more new ideas
to make their products
and services more suitable to their requirements,
to timely adjust internal processes
to achieve their goals more speed
or improve the quality
of the customer service department
to serve better.
Guess how many more inflatable water
bags Fort Lauderdale could have sold
(maybe they need to come up with an easier name!)
if they made it possible for customers
to order in one place
and receive it anywhere else in the United States.
This Amazon.com does very well every day.
This simple change makes the big difference
between the life and death of a company.
In many cases,
from customer complaints
is not passed on to higher levels
of management within the organization.
Even if the complaint is separated
from the competent management
by too many layers
(as in the case of an inflatable water bag,
the customer complains directly to the operator),
the company Communication channels should be established
to identify customer service gaps
and product defects.
This management also allows service providers
to confidently say to their customers:
“What a great idea.
I will definitely pass this idea on
to our board of directors.”
It’s one of the easiest ways
to show your customers
that they’re contributing to your company.
Remember that your company is facing an opportunity
to fulfill its commitment to customers
by taking care of their concerns,
even the smallest complaints.
If your strategy is to build lasting customer relationships,
the company should have someone responsible
for keeping in touch
and letting customers know
that their idea has been realized.
C. Complaint: One of the least expensive marketing tools
Directly responded to complaints
is the most efficient and least expensive way
to get information
and understand customer expectations
for your products and services.
which are more expensive and less direct,
include looking at customer expectations in similar lines of business;
conduct research based on transactions
such as using secret procuring agents
or external auditors;
and research related to the ability
to understand customer expectations,
such as establishing customer focus groups.
During the research phase,
these methods don’t help you build more customer relationships.
while large companies can afford
to do such research,
small and medium-sized companies should rely on customers
to get their thoughts on the company’s products
and services of company.
In most cases,
customers won’t actively come up
with groundbreaking ideas for you.
They wouldn’t conjure up images
of the Toyota Prius hybrid,
they wouldn’t come up with an iPhone or an iPod,
a pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones or a Segway.
Creativity is the job of the research
and development department (R&D – Research & Development).
But customer feedback can help refine product concepts
for a certain customer segment.
(A great example: the “inflatable water bag” might be renamed
to make it easier to identify the feature than the “storm rescue bag.”) Richard Branson,
of Virgin Atlantic,
says he got a lot of workable ideas by listening
to the passengers on the airline.
For example, the idea to launch an in-flight massage service came
from his wife’s masseuse,
who flew with them on a flight.
businesses may never understand the needs of their customers
until something goes wrong
with a product or service failure.
Customers can only submit their complaints to the company
after the product has been invented and sold
or service has been provided.
That’s why you must be willing
to listen and set up departments
that are able to absorb this type of feedback
to develop your products or services.
Computer technology, for example,
has grown as fast and powerful
as the efforts of its users (through feedback)
as well as the efforts of its owners.
For businesses that need to quickly adapt
to the fast-changing market,
listening and quickly responding
to customers helps them meet customer expectations in a timely manner.
For example, convenience stores often sell items
that are in high demand within a few months.
Customer complaints like
“Why don’t you sell the item…?”
immediately convey information
that demand in the market is rapidly changing.
Businesses that are less prone
to market trends also learn this lesson.
Market research can be considered static compared to complaining,
and dynamic compared to the market.
Notice how many of your own complaints actually contain a positive idea
for the company.
If so, keep asking yourself if the idea has been passed on
to an authority and implemented within the company.
Chances are usually no.
Here’s a very good example of how important it is
to listen to your customers.
In 1985, Coca-Cola was “bombed” on the 1-800-Get-Coke hotline
at their headquarters in Atlanta because of complaints
and protests from customers
when the company decided to replace New Coke,
with what is now called a Coke Classic.
Coca-Cola quickly responded to the angry public,
appeased shocked customers
and averted a potentially huge loss.
When a company only pays attention
to the results of market research,
it may hear only part of the story.
After that incident, Coca-Cola did a more comprehensive study of New Coke.
One of the most common stories
of poor customer service experiences
is often the most talked about topic at dinner tables in outsourced call centers.
Alan Angelo, a call center operator at Afni’s call center in Tucson,
“Many companies run after cheap labor overseas.
But they failed to see the level of service
that American customers expected.
Now leading companies are bringing this back to the US.”
Most of us find it very comforting
to meet someone
who has the same accent and culture as us.
It was difficult for a customer to talk
to a service agent in India
to resolve an invoice problem
and then be directed to another person in the Philippines
to clarify the question the customer service center had in India could not answer.
Customer care is not a phrase
that pops up when something goes wrong.
Albert Einstein summed it up subtly:
“It is an obvious fact that technology has transcended human humanity.”
In 2007, the trend of outsourcing this crucial part of customer service seemed
to have taken a big turn.
Many American companies are beginning
to realize that they are losing customers by adopting this model.
Dell Computer brought back the technical support department
for corporate customers back to the US
after receiving an overwhelming number
of complaints about the quality of service.
Toyota Financial Services
and Zappos are two of the companies
that are determined not to use outsourced customer service.
They excellently run their own call centers
and offset the operating costs of these centers
by increasing a large number
of new customers with superior service quality with his superiority.
Marketing professionals often analyze
what they consider important
by consolidating customer feedback into a scorecard.
For example, with hotels,
rooms must be clean
and service staff must be friendly
because customers expect these things.
However, the higher requirements are
that the room must be really quiet,
the table lamp must be bright enough
and placed right next to the bed,
the alarm clock must be easy to set up
so that guests can rest assured reading
until the night is over fell asleep knowing
that they would be woken up on time the next morning.
Unfortunately, many hotels barely care about the brightness
of the light or how simple the alarm clock is,
or even if the room is quiet.
In addition, they do not care about the font size in menus
to see if the hotel’s direct phone numbers are large
enough for customers
to read clearly or not.
If only the hotel had listened
to the complaints,
and the compliments of the guests,
they would have had a lot of great ideas.
Market research can yield this information
if done correctly and carefully,
but complaints tell it all in the blink of an eye.
In addition to calling for the reduction
of product defects
and service failures
or poor processes,
complaining customers are the ones alerting managers
to human error at work reception.
Customers are often the first to notice
that a company’s image has been tarnished by its own employees.
In fact, managers may never know about customer mistreatment
by simply observing employees
while they are at work,
because in general people take their work more seriously
when there is a problem
by their management side next to;
or when they learn that phone conversations are recorded.
D. A customer’s value is tied to their shopping life
Keeping a customer is hard,
but losing them is easy.
There are countless statistics
that show that if customers believe their complaints
are well received and answered,
they will almost always return to purchase.
Moreover, for your loyal customers,
not only is it easier
for you to serve them
because they know how to get their needs met;
they know your products,
employees and management system well.
You may think that customers
who often choose low-priced products
or services do not bring in a significant amount of revenue.
Plus, when they complain about something,
other customers are drawn in and notice you.
On this point, you need to take a longer-term view.
If the average customer buys a $20 book
per month on Amazon.com,
the total they will pay Amazon is $240 a year
and it is likely that they will pay $10,000.
throughout his life.
The cost of each laundry is only 10 to 15 dollars.
However, in a lifetime,
a customer could easily spend $30,000 on this steam cleaning job.
And this number does not include the number of friends
or relatives of a satisfied customer
who will be referred to you.
A homemaker who typically spends about $25 a weekend on pizza
and soda will bring in about $5,000 after four years
to any company lucky enough to retain this customer.
When something goes wrong with a customer,
if the salesperson thinks the customer is buying $5,000 of pizza,
they’ll probably have a different reaction
than if they just saw a customer walk in
and buy a normal pizza.
Car dealers must also pay attention to this.
The average American spends
about $250,000 to $350,000 on a car during their lifetime.
Knowing that will definitely make the customer contact staff know how
to talk to their loyal customers
or potential customers.
Some see selling more to regular customers as customer share;
Market share is selling products
to as many customers as possible.
For most companies,
about two-thirds of sales are brought
in by repeat customers.
Waiters in stores can at least identify their regular customers,
but that’s not enough to exploit their full potential.
For example, in the early 2000s,
in-person Staples customers spent an average of $600 to $700 a year.
But if the same customer also purchases
through the Staples catalog,
he or she will spend twice that amount.
People who shop through catalogs and in-store,
and shop online,
spend four times more than people who shop in-store.
Because the revenue
that a single customer can bring through
all types of purchases is so great,
and because no one can determine the true value of a customer
by looking at their appearance,
Therefore, all customer complaints must be handled carefully and quickly.
A survey by IBM found that if customers come to complain
and leave the company
without satisfactory resolution of their problems,
less than half of them will return.
In other words,
if customers feel their problem has been satisfactorily resolved,
almost all of them give the company another chance to sell.
For each year they are retained,
loyal customers bring in more profits
for the company
because marketing costs are spread over long-term sales. Robert LaBant,
IBM’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing,
North America, says that for IBM,
“every percent increase
or decrease on the customer satisfaction scale equates to 500 million.
dollars of revenue increase
or decrease over a period of 5 years”.
He said that to develop a new customer segment,
IBM had to spend 3 to 5 times more
than it cost to maintain existing customers.
When Vonage, a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone company,
went public, they provide information to the US Securities
and Exchange Commission
about a customer dissatisfaction rate of 2.11% per month in March 2006.
That means 77,000 customers terminated their service
in the first three months of 2006.
Vonage found it necessary to spend marketing money
to attract 77,000 new customers each quarter
to avoid a slump with revenue reduction.
Vonage is required to report the following:
“Therefore, if we are unable to retain customers or are forced
to spend beyond our marketing budget
to attract a sufficient number
of new customers,
revenue will inevitably drop
and losses will increase. “.
Vonage doesn’t mention how well they retain their loyal customers,
but they do talk about the “huge amount of money” it has
to spend to bring in new customers.
Since studies of consumer buying behavior show us
that a fairly high percentage
of customers leave companies
due to poor handling of their complaints,
the question is Is there a more effective way
to retain customers than simply dealing with their complaints?
E. Set a goal to reduce the number of customer complaints – pros and cons
Companies need to encourage employees
to seek out complaints rather than try to alleviate them.
If the company’s goal of complaints is
to be less this year than last year,
achieving this goal is a lot easier than you think.
Employees will receive all messages from customers
but they simply won’t report it to their superiors.
How many times have you written a complaint
and handed it to the receptionist of a hotel
and wondered if your complaint was directed
to the general manager’s desk?
Many times we have trouble filling out customer feedback forms at hotels.
We ticked the box expressing our desire
to get a response to our complaint,
but ultimately received nothing.
As such, either the hotel did not handle customer complaints well,
or the customer complaints were never directed to the right place.
Once, while leaving the front desk,
Janelle tried to glance back
and actually saw the hotel staff ripping through her feedback forms.
It is possible that the intention
to alleviate customer complaints comes from the statement:
“We never received any complaints from customers”.
David Powley, an auditor specializing in ISO 9000 Certification,
says that when he hears that statement,
he thinks of a company that doesn’t know
how to identify customer complaints
even if the customer says it directly by mine in their face”.
Like many other researchers,
Powley argues that “no disagreement” does not mean no complaints.
Although not expressed in words,
opinions are very important.
Setting a goal to reduce the number of customer complaints can lead
to a loss of the value of excellent customer service.
One of the world’s leading car manufacturers produces only a sufficient number
of vehicles to provide to dealers
by collecting information from customers
who have just purchased a new vehicle.
So how do things go?
First, the salesperson will politely ask the customer
for permission to take a small survey
to evaluate their vehicle experience.
The salesperson asked:
“Why don’t you give us all 5 points for the questions?”; or,
“Why don’t you bring the
form here so I can fill it out for you,
that would be very convenient for you!”
Some other employees are even more blunt:
“We have your 5 points
before the company can produce enough cars to sell”.
When we told the salesperson
that we couldn’t give them a perfect score,
they bribed us with a free oil change
or a full tank of gas,
and once a whole set of tires in brand new car.
The joy of just buying a new car is suddenly tarnished
by the bad tricks of the sales staff.
Therefore, companies need to carefully weigh the benefits
of service quality surveys
and the goal of reducing customer complaints.
Customer service reps have a variety of ways
to get you the numbers you want.
Shortly before Pan Am (Pan American Airways) was sold to United Airlines,
a frustrated service worker sent a letter
to the editor-in-chief of a newspaper,
stating that Pan Am’s service was down.
The problem is so severe that now customers don’t want
to complain anymore.
Number one was a Pan Am Boeing 747 full of guests
on a week-long Club Med vacation.
The plane arrived at the resort a day later than planned
– and forgot to take all of your luggage!
According to this former Pan Am employee,
absolutely not a single passenger
on that flight complained at all.
a reduction in complaints can be a sign of a positive trend.
In such cases, many companies will count the number of complaints
they receive about a particular problem.
For example, until the 1980s,
Brooks Brothers was considered a high-quality clothing brand.
Then the staff of the management board changed three times.
The last presidents, Marks and Spencer,
developed new quality improvement methods
and noted that the number of complaints about
the company’s product quality had dropped from 25% to 5%.
That is a great result.
Brooks Brothers only knows
that complaints about product quality have dropped,
but those numbers do not accurately reflect
what customers are evaluating their products.
In 2003, Adelphia, a cable television service provider,
received the most complaints (recorded) in Los Angeles.
So they focused on the specific issues involved,
and a year later there was a 54% reduction in complaints.
One of the reasons for this achievement is that along
with the goal of reducing complaints,
the company also aims to improve the way
it communicates with customers.
In Los Angeles, this means hiring Spanish-speaking customer service
representatives available 24/7, 24 hours a day,
7 days a week.
F. To satisfy customers, you must recognize hidden complaints
There are times when complaints do not reach companies
due to their business organizational structure.
You have to be creative to be able to hear every customer complaint.
For example, many amusement parks outsource some
of the decision making of their business.
A park can contract with multiple subcontractors in the food
and beverage industry
to focus on the overall management of the park.
As a result, food service complaints are reduced,
or at least food service customer complaints aggregated
to park management are also reduced
(the reason is that the this complaint is received
and resolved by subcontractors).
From the perspective of the people
who come to play in these parks,
a poor quality hot dog sandwich
or the unfriendly behavior
of a certain vendor is still the responsibility of the park.
They don’t know that restaurant is no longer
under the direct management of the park.
On the park side,
they barely know about the existence
of such bad services so they can’t fix it either.
Some companies conduct customer satisfaction surveys
and learn more about complaints that are hidden somewhere.
This is a nice idea.
But who will participate in surveys like these?
Unless the company has set a goal to consult
with former customers
who have purchased in the past,
usually those polled are just existing customers
who are still satisfied with the company at an acceptable level.
Customer satisfaction surveys don’t give any information
regarding your group of disgruntled customers.
The results of those surveys may give you some ideas,
but you need to find the customers
who have left you to know why they left.
Only then can the company find real gifts.
If companies focus only on frequent complainers
and do not seek feedback from non-complaining customers,
they cannot get a complete picture of dissatisfied
or unaware people.
Why are they not satisfied?
Those who voice their complaints do not represent the vast majority
of people with hidden complaints that do not speak out.
In the United States,
in general, the people who complain the most are young,
well-behaved white men with above-average incomes.
They are the ones who don’t like to shop at a fixed store.
For example, they are not a loyal McDonald’s customer.
G. Beware of word of mouth rumors and complaining behavior
It’s completely understandable why companies care so much
about what the public has
to say about them.
Customer whispers can bring success
or failure to a business or a product.
Every customer that leaves you disgruntled is a potential threat
in a market that is highly sensitive to complaints.
Complaints can benefit
or harm your company in three ways:
1- People are more likely
to believe a personal recommendation
than an advertiser’s eloquent statements
A study by General Electric found that referrals
from customers’ acquaintances carry twice the weight of ads
that are colorful and use big (but hard to believe) words.
Perhaps you’ve seen a person
who’s almost made a purchase change his mind
when the customer standing next to him whispers,
“I’m not going to buy that.
I have the same one, it’s fragile!
(or it fades easily,
or deteriorates after just one wear,
or the product doesn’t work as the manufacturer says,
or you can buy a similar one for a cheaper price somewhere else).”
But that customer will buy right away if the other person says,
“Oh, I have one like this, great!
I like it very much.
Warranty is very good.
Just buy it, you won’t regret it!”
Every bad rumor about a business after
many rounds of word of mouth makes it harder
for them to pass on marketing activities.
People are more willing to listen
to the advice of a good friend,
or even a complete stranger,
than to believe an advertising campaign that costs millions of dollars.
John DiJulius, manager of John Robert’s Spa in Cleveland, Ohio,
talks about ways to create positive word of mouth
whenever a customer has a complaint.
A customer entered the salon to dye her hair
and had to leave with a garment stained with the dye.
DiJulius sincerely apologized
and sent her a check enough for her
to buy a new set of clothes after the stains were washed
and still not clean.
He also gave one customer a free facial and manicure.
that his store gained thirty new customers through this “beautiful gesture”,
and to this day that customer
still regularly uses the service at John Robert’s.
She said: “At that time,
I thought I would never come back here.
But now I never think about going anywhere else.”
Negative word of mouth can even affect an entire business.
Let’s take a look at the insurance industry.
The industry’s image in the US is now at an all-time low.
The Gallup Institute found
that almost two-thirds of the customers polled believed insurance companies
were charging too much for car owners,
and policyholders in the middle class enterprise.
The Gallup Institute also found that a staggering 61%
of Americans believe that profits
in the insurance industry are higher than in other industries
and believe that companies are dishonest in their financial statements
by their profits to conceal excessive profits.
That’s a very bad mark.
Each hotly debated claim settlement following countless natural disasters,
especially the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005,
further convinces thousands that
when they question claims with their insurance agents,
all of which are handled badly.
Once you believe that your insurance company is,
no matter how many times people say you are being treated well,
you no longer believe it.
“Suppose you have 10 fenders and 1 car is completely destroyed,
guess which case won’t be resolved?”
Insurance agents consider a claim to be settled
when it meets certain conditions in the contract.
And Hunter points out:
“An insurance company can claim
that a case is ‘solved! whether the complainant is
still clamoring or is very reluctant
to accept some of the things they ‘give’.”
Remember that TV editors love
to show people screaming at the evening news.
2- Effectively handling complaints is a powerful source of “good news”
Try reading articles on the Web
about some of the service experiences bloggers
(4) have written or recorded,
or comment on reading comments posted on other people’s blogs.
Blogs are exploding and it is estimated
that every day about a hundred thousand new blogs are created,
although many of them do not last long.
Customer service stories are a top concern for bloggers.
They are human stories
and do not involve the immediate debates
that are common on political blogs.
If you’re not already a blog reader,
an interesting place to start is Vox,
a pretty cool free personal blogging service.
Saska, a Vox blogger who has a blog called the Fiendish Glee Club,
has this to say about herself:
“I’m a photographer, a writer,
and a lover of brain games.
I don’t want to grow up.”
Saska posted a long story online
about the strange service she received from Nintendo.
She bought a brand new Nintendo Wii game console
on the day it hit the market in 2007,
the optical drive was making unusual noises from the start.
As the noise persisted, Saska phoned Nintendo
and she was invited to drop by their office
because she lived nearby
and they wanted to save her time.
The after-sales service
she received after that was “amazingly good”.
She said, “…
This is the Valentine’s gift
I want to give Nintendo.
It was the best customer service experience
I have ever had.”
And she uploaded to her blog some photos
to prove her point.
It was a fun read,
and many people commented on her Web site
and asked more relevant questions
and boldly gave Nintendo positive comments.
If you are planning
to buy a set of video games,
after reading this blog page,
you will immediately choose Nintendo.
Indeed, the Wii was the most ordered item
for gifts during the 2007 Christmas season.
3- The more dissatisfied,
the more customers tend to spread about their discomfort
If angry customers leave with complaints that have been voiced
but have not been adequately handled,
perhaps no company will be able to stop their negative word of mouth.
But if companies listen
and handle these complaints well,
dissatisfaction levels will decrease,
negative word of mouth will be less,
and positive word of mouth will increase.
If you try to read the complaints posted online,
you will find that almost all of them are not handled well.
It may seem as if customers simply want
to speak up about their problems,
but if companies don’t listen
or listen with no response,
they will immediately find one
or more other people to “confide in”.
In cases where companies have easy exchange policies,
we believe the public will have less negative comments about them.
Costco is a prime example.
Everyone knows their famous pledge
“We accept returns
– no questions asked!”.
Costco even accepts returns
without a receipt.
In other words, Costco is telling its customers,
“Please bring your complaints to us.
We want to fix the problems you’re having with all of our products.”
Companies will control negative word of mouth
if they can demonstrate to their customers
that they sincerely do everything necessary
to create the highest level of customer satisfaction.
H. Consequences of poor handling of complaints
Ineffective service restoration
or complaint handling practices can trigger a chain of negative reactions
that potentially worsen product and service quality,
and at the same time increase your business risk.
Worst of all, poor complaint handling often begins
with a disgruntled customer
and ends with customers
and businesses throwing negative attitudes at each other.
Here’s a series of actions that were applied in the 1990s
and still relevant in the 2000s:
Customers leave the business in discontent.
They become “malicious ambassadors”
(5) who bring all their unpleasant things to others to hear.
More and more people are starting
that business is not a place for them to complain
because they can’t expect things to improve.
Customers stop complaining
and businesses lose the opportunity
to know what they can do to improve service
or meet customer needs.
(Or too many customers complain,
so the business blindfolds their ears to stop hearing.)
As a result, the quality of products
and services has not improved,
leading to more and more dissatisfied customers.
Customers who still patronize the business will still come back,
possibly because the prices are cheaper here.
It is also possible that they come
to think that the quality of products
and services here is minimal.
Employees don’t feel comfortable helping difficult customers.
Indeed, employees began
to give customers names.
(We once heard flight attendants on a flight
of an airline struggling with sales say
to each other as passengers boarded:
“Here comes the animals!”.)
Employees increasingly feel
that they do “one thing at a time,”
and that it is a terrible job.
Those who could have found better work elsewhere leave,
thereby taking away from the business a wealth
of experience and skills.
People who stay have little incentive,
so they are less likely to earn the trust,
confidence, and loyalty of their customers.
In turn, this causes more and more customers
to leave the business full of dissatisfaction,
they will go tell everything they think
to everyone they meet.
They will not charge you a dime for this word of mouth advertising.
And so this negative cycle multiplies.
Many companies do not pay attention
to the actual costs incurred by losing customers.
They can tell you exactly what they are doing
to attract new customers
and how much they have to spend on this,
but they don’t seem to have a clue regarding the number of lost customers and why.
Why do they lose customers like that?
In 1989, data from a market study in the US showed
which airlines were doing well and which were not.
Eastern Airlines and Pan Am had the highest complaint rates
and two years later both had to cease operations.
(This study only counted complaints made to the Department of Transportation.)
The next four carriers on the list are TWA, America West,
Continental and US Airways,
but all have managed
to protect themselves from danger,
bankruptcy in the following years.
Of the four carriers, only America West was able to reduce cost per payload mile.
The airlines with the lowest complaint rates
(United, Northwest, American, Alaska, Southwest and Delta),
took ten years after this data was collected
to actually hit the lower cost target per payload mile,
though all struggled after 9/11/2001(6).
Here’s what the document means:
a lower level of complaints indicates a higher level of quality,
which means lower costs.
Another example The Better Business Bureau (BBB) in eastern Missouri
and southern Illinois issued a notice
about 32 companies operating between 1997 and 2006.
BBB warns customers Customers should be careful when doing business
with these companies
because their rate of unresolved complaints is quite high.
There are 26 of which are no longer in operation.
The BBB concluded that unresolved complaints put the business
at risk of going out of business.
“As a result, every unresolved complaint,
or every disgruntled customer,
can become a stepping stone
that takes a business straight to the brink of bankruptcy.”
What are your ways of handling customer complaints
as a source of market information?
What do you know about your company
from listening to customer complaints?
Are your employees
and customers aware of these examples?
What are the ways you measure the number of customer complaints?
After summing up the number of complaints you’ve received,
you can multiply that number (reasonably)
to gauge the (but unstated) dissatisfaction
from the customer for the type of product
by your business model?
Do you compare the ratio of complaints
to the total number of customers you have in hand?
How much does it cost to get a new customer?
How many customers have you lost in the past year?
Who are these customers?
How much money do your customers “spend” on you over their lifetime?
What do your customers say about you in the market?
What plans do you have to control this type of conversation
or customer word of mouth?
Part 3: Turning complaints into benefits
in a column of a Hong Kong-based magazine,
were quoted in the media
when they described the complaining diners as “the whine…
hot-tempered… rude… those
who consider themselves the navel of the universe…
power-hungry… stupid… blatant cheaters…
and cunning conspirators.”
Even researchers can’t avoid calling customers by names.
One group of researchers divided “problem” diners into five categories:
Disrespectful Betty, Intimidating Harold,
Fidgety Fickle, Ignorant Iggie,
and Dictator Dick. These nicknames are sharp,
but they also contribute to a negative perception of consumers.
A research team at the University of Florida divided consumers into groups:
docile, aggressive, spendthrift,
and chronic nagging.
Of course, none of these nicknames refers to a customer
who wants to receive what has been promised
by suppliers or a complaint that has been resolved.
Most complainers aren’t actually scavengers;
In fact, they represent a sizable group of consumers.
To turn complaints into benefits,
you must first listen
Indeed, how wonderful the world would be if the services
or products worked all the time.
However, according to product research experts,
most businesses can only achieve the lowest error level of 10-15%.
Therefore, we will definitely have problems
when using any product or service.
Therefore, companies need to learn how to restore service
– a process of correcting mistakes to being right.
To start restoring service,
a company must first know that a problem has occurred,
and that it is impossible for everyone in the company
to find fault on their own.
To make sure customers are willing
to voice their displeasure,
their expectations must first be met,
starting with understanding how
those expectations are formed
throughout the sales process.
Customers are more likely
to voice their dissatisfaction
if they trust the quality of the product
and believe that any issues will be dealt
with equitably and quickly.
In these situations, they will be on your side
and their complaint is to regain their sense of satisfaction.
The following are the possibilities that may arise
when customers react and combine
with business feedback.
The content of Quadrant 1 deserves a round of applause,
a celebratory party, perhaps even champagne.
On the surface, the situation looked good because
from the company’s point of view,
everything went smoothly,
and the customers also seemed to confirm this
because they didn’t complain, but praised.
In fact, unless you actively ask questions,
companies don’t know exactly what percentage
of customers are satisfied
because most of them don’t say anything.
According to the trend,
managers and people who directly sell
or supply service often blames customers
when things go wrong rather than taking responsibility for themselves.
It seems that when customers are silent,
most people pat each other on the shoulder and say,
“We must have done a great job!”.
However, this can be a serious mistake.
Some of the customers the company considers
to be in Quadrant 1 may actually be in Quadrant 3.
The Quadrant 2 situation requires the company
to do some consulting with the customer.
Sometimes customers complain
about things that are not the company’s fault.
For example, airline passengers complain
that the airline made a mistake
because they missed their flight,
when in fact they misread the information on the ticket.
In this case, even if the customer is not right,
they are still the customer.
Furthermore, it’s not just the customer
who makes mistakes;
Employees themselves can also be professional liars.
From a business perspective,
listening to these customers is an opportunity to learn from them.
If many passengers misread the information on their tickets,
perhaps airlines should redesign their tickets
to minimize this error.
When customer service takes responsibility for a mistake,
or at least an apology,
it shows that they care about the customer.
At the end of December 2007,
a young Canadian employee working in the oil
and gas industry received a mobile phone bill of $83,700
due from Bell Mobility,
a subsidiary of Bell Mobility. Bell Canada.
It turned out that this guy,
while working alone in an oil field,
was using his mobile phone to surf the Internet.
He thought he could surf the web
without limits because he bought a $10 plan.
This story made a big splash
among consumers in Canada and Bell Mobility,
yielding to customer pressure,
agreed to reduce rates to $3,400.
That’s a significant reduction,
but it’s still too much
for a young man whose only income is a monthly salary.
Our opinion is that Bell should cancel this bill
and use it as a practical example
to make it clear to other customers
that their “unlimited” plan doesn’t actually mean ” unlimited” everything
. Maybe they should also get rid of the word unlimited in their ad.
This fact shows that most people don’t read the tiny print
when they sign these types of contracts.
So the words in bold for advertising purposes need
to be consistent with the small “must” words.
Quadrant 3 represents the biggest problem for companies:
customers say nothing about problems they have.
If a business comes to the conclusion that
when the customer says nothing,
there is no failure in the product or service.
And Quadrant 3 doesn’t have to be.
We believe this is a silent killer that has killed many companies.
One of the ways to help companies completely change this group of disgruntled customers
is to give them the opportunity
to speak their mind.
For example, in the financial services industry,
for the sole purpose of increasing customer satisfaction,
channels for receiving information have been established specifically designed
to maximize customer satisfaction.
Once given the direct phone number of the bank manager,
it means that the customer will know
how to contact the bank if something goes wrong.
Another way to get more feedback from your customers is
to ask them whenever possible.
Ask them questions like:
“How does this feature of the product help you?
How is our feedback?
Wouldn’t it be better if we did it like this?
For you, what is the most outstanding feature of this product?”.
As Martha Rogers, a partner at Peppers and Rogers Group,
says when a company integrates customer inputs:
“We’re getting further and further along the perception curve to finally be able
to create a unique product that completely fulfills all your wishes
because you helped us create it.”
Marketing AMA award winner John Huppertz considered
which of the following factors is most likely
to make customers more willing to voice their complaints:
no-questions-asked refund policy due to,
easy access to call centers,
or reduced storage hassles for returned goods.
Let’s take a look at four complaint-friendly approaches in retail,
which do you think will have the most impact on getting customers
to speak their mind?
According to Huppertz,
all four of these ways make businesses appear more complaint-friendly,
but only a refund policy
that doesn’t ask for a reason encourages customers
to voluntarily raise a complaint.
Daryl Travis, a founding member of Brandtrust Consultants,
especially encourages clients to give the company feedback.
Customers like to be consulted, he says,
whether not in mass surveys or in surveys
that target a focus group.
“You have to create an insatiable craving
for constant feedback,” says Travis.
He advises businesses not
to let any of their customers fall into Quadrant 3.
When Gary Kelly took over as CEO at Southwest Airlines in 2005,
he held two-day long meetings with passengers
(which included a couple of days)
all 6 groups participated).
Unlike surveys that target a focus group
that Daryl Travis finds suffocating,
this is a way for passengers to let things go
with the head of Southwest.
At the conclusion of these meetings,
Kelly said, “It helps me prioritize the things we need to keep doing.”
along with a number of other high-tech companies,
has set up rooms in commercial showrooms in
which senior managers chat
with attendees to gather information
by the valuable information of the market
in a short time with the lowest cost.
Ed McQuarrie, a marketing professor at Santa Clara University,
recommends that executives visit customers regularly
to keep up-to-date
with what’s going on, and not simply send marketing
or sales reps. salesman to sell. He said:
“Customer visits are like market research,”
where you have the opportunity to listen
to your customers talk about the problems they are facing
and how helpful your products
and services are no help to them.
WinterSilks started selling silk clothing in the early 1980s,
first in catalogs,
then on the web,
and now has a specialty store in Madison,
The company develops systematically,
mainly based on finding positive feedback customers
to help guide their growth.
Outstanding efforts have brought them
in contact with thousands of different customers.
All collected information is aggregated
to make the company more agile when approaching business.
WinterSilks lists the top ten customer concerns
and actively seeks to respond to these concerns.
John Reindl, executive vice president,
said: “Compared to the benefits,
these efforts are insignificant.
To be competitive,
you have to do it.”
As self-service technology (SST) becomes more and more popular,
there will be a sizable number of customers
(this number is increasing)
who feel their needs are not satisfied
and they have absolutely no way to communicate.
Report equipment problems to the responsible person,
at least as far as they know.
Recently, Janelle happened to stop at a truck stop,
which contains fast food restaurants,
a large retail store,
restrooms and a game room.
Janelle counted all the visible SST devices in her line of sight
and finally stopped at 46.
All the staff working at this stop were very busy,
so there would be no one there,
reports that a certain SST machine is down.
Very few devices have a list of contact phone numbers
in the event of a problem with the device.
Of course, there are a few people
who call these numbers,
but most of the rest will immediately find another phone
or some other way to meet their needs.
You need to remember that every day
that a machine stands idle is another day of loss in revenue.
Let’s take a look at the barriers
that make it difficult for customers to present their complaints.
Do you force them to write letters on the form
or call special numbers?
Do you require customers to present multiple documents every time
they want to exchange or request a refund?
Do you give them adequate time to report an issue?
These demands, coupled with displeasure
or unresponsiveness to complaints,
create a pervasive mentality that “nothing will happen!”.
So encourage your customers to ask questions t
o identify what’s really bothering them.
Dealing with the Quadrant 4 situation,
where a customer is talking to you about their problems,
requires a very high level of communication
and problem-solving skills.
Communicating with complaining customers is
when you get the most information
and also the best opportunity
to restore service and make the necessary changes.
If the company can correct mistakes
and accept responsibility
with a polite and friendly attitude,
customers are willing
to give the company another chance.
One of our colleagues at TMI-US is a professionally trained chef.
She bought two very expensive cuts of beef at a store
that she went to many times a week to shop.
(She loves fresh food!) The next night,
when she was about to make the steaks,
they had turned brown.
She brought them back to the store and told the woman
who used to sell them to her at the meat counter.
The salesman said,
“Didn’t you leave them outside for too long?”
Then this person immediately added a sentence:
“Surely your refrigerator is not cold enough”.
My friend finally exchanged two other pieces of fresh meat,
but the incident caused her
to no longer sympathize with this shop.
Could this incident be handled differently?
The employee should first thank the customer
for returning the meat
because obviously the store needs
to double check with the supplier.
She could have apologized
and even offered an extra piece of meat
to the customer to make up for the annoyance.
After she has exchanged goods,
she should ask a few more questions
to make sure the customer understands
that this is not a “teaching”
and sincerely apologize to the customer
for asking such questions.
Sales staff can even ask customers
why these cuts of meat are discolored in less than 24 hours.
At that time, the customer will surely be an enthusiastic collaborator
with the seller and in the next time,
the seller can inquire about the dish that she has cooked.
That’s how to build lasting relationships.
Companies always benefit
when customers speak their mind,
and this is why companies need to let their customers know
that they welcome complaints and feedback.
This means that employees
who deal directly with customers must know
how to recognize when something is wrong.
For example, a person calls a long-distance telephone company
to complain about the billing process they are using as follows:
“The service you provided me is not good”.
“Yes, that’s right, I follow the company’s regulations!”,
the representative replied.
Obviously, this company does not advertise their services like:
“We give you a very good service:
that is, we always follow the company’s rules”.
The public would laugh,
but obviously someone in the business had
to instruct the young employee,
or at least imply,
that this was what she was supposed
to do and answer
when a customer asked a question.
Retailers estimate that up to 74% of dissatisfied customers can be retained
if the problem is fixed,
but as we have seen,
most customers never complain
(or only complain if they have a problem) mess
with the expensive items they bought).
Therefore, the retailer that advocates encouraging customers
to make complaints must be the pioneer in restoring service.
Turn complaints into benefits
by recognizing common customer service flaws the process
of restoring service does not happen automatically,
but companies need to think very carefully about possible failures
and have to consider backup solutions
(because they will inevitably happen).
For example, hotels need to train cashiers on how
to deal with billing errors,
and overbooking requests.
Airlines are required to teach employees
how to behave in the event of late arrivals,
and canceled flights.
Grocery sellers must know what to do
and say in front of the line of dragons
and snakes at the checkout counter.
Retailers need to know how to handle promotional out-of-stocks,
staff shortages and sudden price spikes.
Does every business proactively look for common mistakes
and take precautions when problems arise?
For example, could any of the following situations occur in a dentist’s or doctor’s office?
Patients have to wait two hours for their turn to be seen.
Patient does not carry health insurance card.
Patients must hear rude words
or overworked staff.
If a business actively collects complaints
and tracks them closely,
they can easily compile a list of the types of service problems
that often recur.
The business must then consider its responses.
Some companies do a very good job of restoring service.
Those are the companies that do a great job
of training employees
to anticipate customer problems,
even something as simple as reminding customers
that the product they just purchased requires a battery to work
. In companies with service recovery processes,
who are in direct contact
with customers know
they have the company’s support in fixing product
and service flaws.
So when they sell an item to a customer,
they know they’re selling a commitment to be fulfilled.
Nordstrom is considered a chain of retail stores
with the quality of customer service is rated among the best,
but the system’s boss,
Bruce Nordstrom, said:
“We don’t want to talk much about service quality in your service.
The truth is that we haven’t reached what people give us.
Reputation is something very fragile,
You have to work day by day,
hour by hour.”
A few years ago,
in a citywide poll conducted in Phoenix, Arizona,
residents were asked to name their favorite department stores.
Nordstrom won by a considerable margin,
though it wasn’t until 2009
that Nordstrom started opening stores there.
(There are several Nordstrom stores located in the vicinity,
but Phoenix itself has none.)
How did Nordstrom create
such a legendary reputation?
Part of the answer is the impressive service attitude of the employees
who work at Nordstrom at all times,
We’ve heard many businesses confess
that they never did the same thing
Nordstrom did for their customers.
That is simply not true.
Nordstrom wasn’t always able to pull off these feats,
but this “everywhere” has had the impact it needs.
New York consumers voted Nordstrom
as the best store for making shoppers feel like a special customer.
Besides, Nordstrom’s success is also
due to their very open exchange policy (though not without limits).
The most thrilling story to be told about Nordstrom
is a famous example that seems to be bogus.
The story goes that Nordstrom refunded an elderly customer
and received a pair of tires that were clearly used,
even though the retailer did not sell tires.
If you want to read the full story of this fascinating
and what made Nordstrom famous,
visit the Web site of urban legends Snopes.com.
The bottom line is,
you can build a reputation day by day,
but always make sure you’re doing everything right.
Let’s collect as many complaints as possible
The most important reason why customers complain is
because they believe their complaint will work.
We need to distinguish
between frustration and customer complaints.
Maybe the customer is very disgruntled
and hasn’t said anything at all,
or they’re just a little bit displeased
to talk about it if they believe the company will do something for them.
To create conditions for customers to talk to you,
you must first build a unique culture in your business,
where everyone knows that customer feedback
is considered a marketing investment is not an expense.
One of the simplest methods can be mentioned is using a form
to record customer information.
Name the form “Customer Gift”.
Customers will see that you are serious
if you are willing to take notes on what they say.
If you don’t save customer feedback,
you’ll quickly forget about them.
When you host an event for clients,
give them a call after the event is over.
A restaurant owner often phoned all of the hostesses
who served eight or more diners,
even though they didn’t complain at all.
“We know that with such a large party,
we often cannot control all the possible situations,
and maybe the hosts do not want to complain to us
in front of the guests,” he said others.
These hosts are important customers,
they often spend a lot of money.”
Many young people like to communicate through online chat sites,
including chatting with pictures on the Internet.
(If you Google the phrase live chat,
you’ll get over 82 million results.
And if that number is overwhelming,
go to Wikipedia [www.wikipedia.com]
and search for the word. online chat (online chat)
to read a fairly complete summary on this topic.)
Instant messaging allows one
to talk privately with one another in real time.
Technologies for cash transfers
and Internet vouchers make reimbursements instantaneous in online chats.
Blogs are also another way for companies
to talk directly to their customers,
and they can be created
to pool information about companies’ own Web sites.
Toll-free phone lines are still one of the classic best ways
to communicate directly with customers,
especially for one-on-one customer contact.
Toll-free numbers have been available in the US since 1967,
the same year the service was first introduced to the public.
Today, 98% of American adults use these toll-free numbers;
52% of them make 50
or more calls in a year.
Making it easy for customers to place free calls
from a Web site increases the effectiveness of advertising,
whether online or in print.
Based on its research,
AT&T says 86% of customers prefer
to call a toll-free number rather
than write a letter to the company,
and 62% of customers are more likely
to shop at companies
with a toll-free phone line. more cost.
In short, a company
without a toll-free phone line is at a competitive disadvantage.
Of course, not all toll-free calls convey customer complaints.
There’s no exact data to show
what percentage of those calls are complaints,
but AT&T estimates that a “sizable portion”
of toll-free calls are complaints customer complaints
or reactions, especially
when these phone numbers are printed on the product.
AT&T prints a Free Telephone Yearbook each year.
Many of these phone numbers are used for sales,
but they can also be used to receive customer feedback.
Every decision to use a toll-free number requires careful calculation
of what they want to achieve.
If your business installs toll-free phone lines
and informs the public without strict controls,
it is likely to have more problems than companies
that do not hide themselves contact with customers.
You should at least make sure
that your staff can handle the volume of incoming calls.
A large retailer specializing in wooden furniture has learned a lesson in this.
The retailer’s top management is about
to install toll-free phone lines
and make them available to the public.
In just the first two weeks,
the number of calls had reached thousands beyond the capacity
of the system to handle,
making customers very uncomfortable.
Customer dissatisfaction must have been
beyond the company’s expectations.
The lesson is clear:
toll-free phone lines must be piloted
for a while before they are officially rolled out.
TARP, a well-known US customer service research firm,
concludes that toll-free support lines are an attractive benefit to companies
– unless calls are handled poorly.
As TARP warned a decade ago:
If the (customer service) system is not designed
to efficiently handle customer interactions
and use that data in moderation ignoring the root cause of problems,
then the company should not tie itself to such contacts.
TARP’s cross-industry survey shows
that an ineffective customer service system causes more damage
to the market than not actively implementing customer service.
The decision to market a toll-free phone channel
for customer support/feedback was a strategic decision;
Also determining what details to answer
for these calls is a tactical decision.
Some companies don’t do this well.
For example, if a voicemail system
is bundled with a toll-free number,
it must be carefully managed
to avoid a situation called voice-mail jail.
This situation occurs when callers
are stuck between repetitive menus,
being led around without being able
to connect with a real person.
TARP’s president, John Goodman,
said there would be great damage
to the company-customer relationship
if the customer failed to contact the company’s responsible person.
Goodman says customer satisfaction drops
by about 10% if they are forced
to leave their name and contact number on voicemail
and wait to be called back.
An article on expanding the business culture
(using a toll-free phone line) lists the benefits of customer complaints as follows:
Enhance consumer trust:
Customers think you are more trustworthy
if they can get in touch with you easily.
While Honda doesn’t say that
the toll-free number alone has made its Acura line a success,
it does assert that the installation of the line has sent
a very clear message to customers,
“We do not leave you alone if you have trouble using our product”.
Immediate customer feedback:
Paul Walsh, former CEO of Pillsbury, says:
“If there’s something wrong with our product,
I hope we’ll be the first to hear about it.”
Reduce Complaints About Common Problems:
If customers call just to ask for information,
you can take the opportunity to educate them on how
to avoid other problems.
Armstrong World Industries printed a toll-free number
on their unpolished flooring
and instructed customers to call Armstrong
to learn how to remove the number.
The phone number was easily lost with warm water,
but while Armstrong talked to customers on the phone,
they were instructed
by Armstrong on how to maintain the floor
to avoid problems caused by wax polish.
Armstrong World believes that providing free phone consultations
to customers can help control negative emotions of customers
and estimates that Armstrong generates a significant revenue
of $12,000 per customer.
Armstrong views toll-free phone lines
as a channel for generating income.
Helps reduce lawsuits:
Sometimes an immediate phone call can help resolve problems
that arise before a client even starts thinking about litigation.
Increase product and market research information:
Callers who come in through toll-free phone lines will share
with the company their likes,
dislikes, and what works and doesn’t work for them.
These call recordings can be played
for product managers
and relevant employees to hear first-hand what customers are thinking.
Kraft General Foods prints toll-free phone numbers on most
of their new product packaging
“The numbers – 800- gave us a great feedback mechanism
for product improvement,
service and support. our service”.
Increase your chances of selling additional products:
While most companies view toll-free product support lines primarily
as a way to strengthen customer loyalty
to the brand brand,
this is also a way to offer customers additional products over the phone
while they are calling with the intention of complaining:
“If you like (or don’t like) this product,
I can also recommend this product.
I recommend it to you… Most of our customers say.
Can I send you a half-price coupon to try it out?”
Most companies find that the biggest hurdle
to overcome when developing loyal customers is convincing them
to try the company’s products.
If they show interest in the product
and the price is reasonable,
they will probably continue to use it.
Show special attention to special customers:
Setting up a separate toll-free phone line
for major customers is the company’s way of giving special attention
and providing exceptional service to them.
United Airlines has a toll-free number reserved only
for Global Service flyers,
who are frequent long-haul customers in United Airlines’ most expensive class source
of additional complaints:
a toll-free phone line is the expression of the saying:
“We are not afraid;
we just want to get more of your “gifts”!”.
Make Complaints Your Power in the Market
Recorded complaints will let you know what customers care most about.
Extensive research conducted over the past 25 years has shown
that customers talk primarily about the problems
that are important to them,
about problems they think can be solved,
and about problems that they can’t solve.
They want the company to fix it.
This view of customers runs counter
to the belief of many service providers
and managers that complaining customers often ask for things that are never available.
Complaining customers are the ones who put their money in the hands of businesses
and are trying in most cases to do the right thing that others consider wrong.
It may seem a bit paradoxical,
but to turn complaints into gifts,
you have to accept them with joy rather than wincing at them.
Here are a few examples.
After listening to customer complaints,
a travel agency realized
that if visitors have positive memories related to food services,
the entire stay will be viewed as positive. pole.
Darty, a French supplier of household goods,
welcomes complaints from customers
when they tell the company that their products are not the cheapest on the market.
Their brand promise is what they will have to guarantee,
so quite literally, customers are divulging market intelligence
when they complain that Darty’s prices are not the lowest.
Frederick Reichheld emphasizes the importance
of taking complaints positively
when he says that to create value for your customers,
you must understand what their point of view is,
what they want and what they don’t want.
Hopefully they will disclose this information
to you during the complaint.
Customers and salespeople have quite different mindsets.
As noted before, customer service reps tend
to blame customers
when a product or service goes wrong,
while customers often blame the company.
Without understanding customers’ minds,
companies often fail
to appreciate the reasonableness of customer complaints.
This makes it difficult for employees to see the link
between complaining behavior
and the benefits they get from customer feedback.
Faced with a stack of complaints, a management team
and a group of customers were asked
if they thought the complaints were legitimate.
More than half of the managers considered these complaints unreasonable;
while more than half of customers support letter writers for having legitimate complaints.
The managers concluded that it was clear
that customers wanted things they never had,
that they were confused,
or that they were simply completely wrong.
If most managers had this mindset,
it wouldn’t be surprising that they wouldn’t listen to complaints,
and this thought would quickly spread throughout the business.
In another survey,
people compared the thinking of people who shop for clothes
and those who have cars that need to be repaired
with the views of clothes sellers and auto mechanics.
All four groups were asked a hypothetical question about whether a service problem
(the car broke down shortly after being repaired)
or a product problem (seam broke) was caused by the customer.
Or is the product poor quality
or inadequate repair service.
80% of customers attribute the fault
to the mechanic for negligent repair,
while up to 80% of mechanics blame the vehicle owner or “other causes”.
87% of customers believe that the seams are loose because of poor quality products,
but 64% of clothing salespeople blame this on customers,
either because they bought the wrong size
or because they have a body shape. oversized.
The researchers also found that the attitude of the salesperson
or the waiter was only directly correlated
with the product they sold.
In other words, the clothing salesperson blames the mechanic
for the car repair fault,
and the auto mechanic blames the garment factory for the unsightly seams.
The primary goal of training employees on how
to handle complaints should include making everyone in the business
(including the production department)
understand that customers rarely speak out with everything.
One of China’s strongest brands is home goods manufacturer Haier.
The company almost had to go out of business
when Zhang Ruimin was assigned the responsibility
of reviving this state-owned enterprise in 1984.
Zhang’s outstanding quality management ability was due
to the knowledge he had learned
and had learned. read.
He believes that customer complaints are great teachers
for everyone working in the factory.
Once, a customer brought back a Haier refrigerator,
Zhang was determined to return this person a refrigerator in good working order.
Then he took inventory of his entire inventory of 400 refrigerators
and learned that about 80 of them were inoperable.
Zhang told staff to use a sledgehammer
to smash the refrigerators to pieces.
Reluctantly, his staff were able to do this.
“If we don’t destroy these refrigerators today,
we will be crushed by the market in the future,” Zhang told staff.
One of the hammers from each year’s demolition
is still on display at Haier’s headquarters
to remind people of the quality of the product.
Like the story of Nordstrom’s tire,
this one has also entered the legend of modern business history.
Today, Haier ranks as one of China’s most powerful brands,
with annual sales of $10 billion. In 2006,
Haier was voted as one of the top 500 global enterprises.
Many people believe that Chinese people only choose
to buy goods that are not too expensive.
But clearly Haier proved this was not the case in their case.
And it all started with a complaint.
The effect of strong customer relationships,
positive word of mouth on increasing sales
When a customer spends a fortune driving a new car home,
both the buyer and the seller are happy.
But this sales process has not really tested the seller’s enthusiasm.
There must be problems to see the pressure
that business people have to bear.
Will the seller still smile
when the customer reports problems with the car?
Will the seller still respond with the same enthusiasm as
when the customer first asked about the car’s features?
In the car business,
the way customers are treated in every transaction determines
whether the customer will return to buy another vehicle.
Meeting all customer expectations,
whether during the first sale
or when complaints or maintenance requests are received,
builds trust between buyers and sellers.
This is especially true for
with relationships between clients and professionals.
If a client is satisfied with the way a doctor,
or other professional is handled,
then this relationship is certainly built customer loyalty
and entice them to return again and again.
Customers who bring in a product
for repair can purchase another product
if they are treated well.
Recently, one of the TMI employees complained
to the seller about the condition
or malfunction of the color laser printer.
She recounted that because she was treated so well,
she decided to buy a second printer here.
She probably would never have done
that if the behavior she received
from the repair department made her angry.
This next example was sent to us by e-mail.
A lawyer working for a large telecommunications company chooses
to buy furniture for the bedroom.
By the time she signed an interest-free purchase agreement
with cash payments within 90 days,
she had asked questions that the salesman couldn’t answer.
The manager was called in to help.
The manager didn’t like the tone of the questions
and basically told the lawyer
that the contract was like that
and if she didn’t like it,
she could buy it elsewhere.
Then the manager said loudly to the salesman
that she should have answered the customer the same way.
The lawyer walked out of the store,
holding a brochure about the Sleep Country mattress
she had really wanted to buy.
She sent an e-mail to the store owner and told her the whole story.
The owner personally wrote
to her the very next day apologizing
for the incident and offering
to have a bedroom set delivered
to her home without charge for shipping.
We can probably all agree
that such a resolution is correct and satisfactory,
and we wouldn’t rekindle the story
without one more detail.
The next day, another person heard about
this particular troubleshooting story
and told her mother,
who was out looking for a new mattress,
about Sleep Country.
So the mother, instead of going to another retailer,
decided to buy a mattress from Sleep Country
and have it delivered the next day.
Based on word of mouth,
Sleep Country made a second sale
that they should have missed.
Sleep Country’s website says:
“Since its founding in 1991,
no company has matched Sleep Country in terms of customer service quality,
superior pricing, and dedication to service.” .
In a study of over 700 incidents occurring in the airline,
hotel, and restaurant industries,
researchers found that among customers
with good memories of good services,
there are up to 25% starting from some problem in service delivery.
This lesson is decisive for management work.
Businesses don’t need to run away from service problems,
every company representative has an opportunity
to turn a negative situation into a positive experience for the customer.
Make complaints the basis for Total Quality Management.
Former quality consultant, W. Edwards Deming,
describes restoring service as putting out a fire.
“Finding the points that are out of control,
finding the root cause,
and eliminating it is how you get the customer service process back in place.”
Thus, restore service is not the same
as quality improvement.
The fundamental principle of Total Quality Management (TQM)
is continuous improvement.
Continuous improvement means admitting
that you can never achieve total quality;
you just get close to it.
It is a process by which a company,
its services, and its products adapt to an ever-changing market.
To discover how processes and products need to change
to satisfy customers,
companies need to know all the details.
Complaints can be the main component of that information source.
Feedback from customers will tell employees how to improve services
and expand product distribution channels
that they could never have thought of on their own.
as if they were customer feedback,
and customers are seen
as a business’ most valuable asset,
helps the company create a customer-focused culture.
This culture, in turn,
will be the foundation of effective TQM strategies.
As Phil Crosby, author of Quality Is Free, wrote:
“Satisfy the customer first,
Restore customer service,
treat them as god,
and make sure you keep your promise of quality service to them.
Always remember that customer complaints
are one of the most valuable sources of information
to improve the quality of your products
and services and enhance your position in the marketplace.
Under what circumstances do you find customer complaints unreasonable?
How do you think customers will react
when you think their complaint is unreasonable?
How will your company respond to customers
who complain of problems that are actually their fault?
List some of the complaints of this type that you often encounter.
To handle complaints in such situations,
what plans do you have for direct customer consultation
or service restoration?
Is there a situation in your company where the relationship
with the customer becomes closer after a product/service incident?
How do customer service staff members present a positive image
of the company while solving customer problems?
How much does it cost your company to solve customer problems?
How much does keeping past frustrated customers increase sales for your company?
How often do you calculate these expenses and income
and let everyone in the company know?
If your company has installed toll-free phone lines,
have you noticed how satisfied your customers are with the speed
and efficiency of the way you handle calls?
How often do you call your company’s toll-free phone lines to check?
And learn from the service you provide to customers or not?
Do you distinguish any customers who give you valuable
and honest feedback about your products and services?
Do you set up customer feedback channels?
What systems are in place to collect customer complaints
that employees can hear?
List the different methods you
and your company have adopted
to get customer feedback on the spot?
Are your feedback systems primarily designed
to capture compliments or complaints?
Which employees often spend the most time with customers?
How is the information they collect passed back to the company?
Part 4: Why do most customers want to complain?
“Why don’t you complain?”
Although this question is very simple,
it has many surprising answers.
We once heard 150 different reasons
because only one group of people answered the question why they didn’t complain.
When you hear this question,
people quickly come up with a lot of reasons,
that’s when you start to understand
why so many customers leave without saying a word.
TARP has concluded that the number of complaints is indeed declining,
even as customers face serious problems.
This is the result of a phenomenon the company calls “trained despair.”
John Goodman said:
“The company’s management structure has trained customers
to accept incidents as a business practice,
if they foresee an unchanged outlook,
why should they?
What’s the point of complaining?”
Perhaps to emphasize Goodman’s statement,
in the 2007 Customer Experience Impact Report,
RightNow Technologies concluded
that good service remains an important distinguishing criterion.
51% of those surveyed answered
that outstanding service is what keeps them coming back to the company;
60% say this is the main reason
they recommend a company to others.
Right now also realizes that more
and more people are saying
they won’t return to a business after experiencing a bad problem:
in 2007 the figure rose to 80%,
compared with only 68% in 2006.
Here are some of the many reasons
why people don’t want to complain:
I don’t want to ruin the party atmosphere.
I’m not the host,
so I don’t want to make a fuss.
I can be polite at the table,
but I will complain in the washroom.
That’s not worth mentioning.
Anyway, no one listens to me.
It’s not a terrible thing.
After all, compared to people starving all over the world,
my complaint is nothing.
They asked me for a personal identification number (PIN),
and I couldn’t remember which was which.
I have dozens of account numbers.
It’s clear: the person I’m talking to is not competent,
not at all the top level,
so he won’t get what I mean.
They’ll probably question me
as soon as I complain,
so I need to defend myself.
Complaining sometimes costs me more.
Because their solution was to ask me
to call another long distance number.
I don’t believe they will keep my complaint private.
I complained once,
they recorded my call and played it
for all the call center staff to hear.
From their body language,
I knew they didn’t want to talk to me.
They always do their job well.
Only in my case, they did not do well.
I feel sorry for that employee.
They told me to write a letter.
Who has time to do that?
The lady who helped me was so beautiful,
I didn’t want to look like a nagging guy in front of her.
This issue concerns many others as well;
The service team leader should have handled it directly!
I complained about a product made for “women”,
while the person who took charge of the problem was a man.
I was too shy to say anything.
I don’t know who to tell!
If I told them, they would treat me rudely.
If I said it, it would be a big deal.
Surely they would treat me like a criminal.
I’ll probably have to wait a long time for an answer.
I have not been approved for that loan;
I have to wait until it is approved.
The customer feedback department is always closed at lunchtime.
Forget it. I sent them an e-mail with no response!
They will tell me I have to bring them the originals
of the proof of purchase,
which I don’t know where they are.
I threw away my purchase receipt.
The person I want to complain to may be fired.
I don’t know how to describe this situation.
It’s too private.
Chances are they’ll spit on my plate in the kitchen
before it’s served.
I am also partly responsible.
Do I have to go up to the third floor
to meet the complaint reception department?
I do not have time!
Just last week I met them to complain;
they’ll think I’m a picky picker or a nag!
I complained last time too,
but nothing happened!
I know this person.
We haven’t seen each other for a long time.
I certainly don’t want to complain
to my friend about anything.
I would rather walk away
and never come back,
and say nothing.
That’s the easiest way to do it.
I guess I’m just making myself more uncomfortable.
Better to forget about it.
My daughter works as a waitress.
I know how hard these people work.
I wouldn’t complain about anyone doing that job.
If I complain to my son’s teacher now,
she will take her anger out on him another time.
If I complain about that person, maybe he will follow me.
You know how crazy people can be these days.
I had all five problems.
I certainly won’t complain at all.
They will never listen.
I will mention only one of them.
Maybe I’ll make my situation worse.
It’s a long list that makes it clear
why so many people have complaints
but don’t say anything.
How Complaint Handlers Make Customers Don’t Want to Complain.
Here are the attitudes of the feedback department
that make customers don’t want
to say their thoughts:
lack of emotion,
blaming or promising
but not delivering,
complaints passed on to others,
avoidance of personal responsibility,
repeated questioning of the customer,
or a The disrespectful exchange feels like an interrogation.
A customer walks into a restaurant
and stands leaning against a freshly painted wall,
a streak of paint stuck to his shirt.
He told the service staff there,
but all of them apologized for what had happened
without thinking of a way to remedy the situation.
“Sorry.” The customer said:
“They’re just good at saying sorry but they don’t do anything.
Just ‘Sorry’ is not enough.”
The act of refusal: Rejection often begins with an apology.
“Sorry, but there’s nothing I can do.
Next person please!”
If the customer resisted, she would hear:
“Look, I told you there was nothing I could do for you.
Come on, can I help the next customer now?”.
The customer response was:
“They took my money.
It’s something they can do,
but when something goes wrong they don’t help at all.”
The customer is blamed for his or her own complaint.
“You made a mistake.”
“You should have told me sooner.”
“You gave the wrong warranty card.”
“Haven’t you signed up for a warranty card?”
The customer’s reaction was:
“Their warranty cards mean nothing”.
Promises not fulfilled:
Feedback department employees promise
to fix a problem after a certain period of time,
but in fact they do not fix anything.
This is the exact opposite of what was advertised.
The customer response was:
“Obviously they don’t behave as they say.
I wonder what else they don’t do.”
This behavior happens more often than you think.
Receptionists do not return calls to answer incoming calls
or respond to complaints that are submitted by mail.
Sometimes customers have to call again and again,
every time they say they will be helped,
but nothing happens. Customer Response:
“Forget about this.
People just want my money.
Once they have it, they disappear!”.
The bare minimum of politeness is gone;
many customers are treated rudely and insulted;
In some cases, they feel like criminals.
The employees were happy:
“No one will dare to complain about that anymore.”
(This doesn’t mean that someone doesn’t feel like complaining;
it just means that no one has complained yet.)
The client promises himself:
“I will never have to deal
with these people again in the future,
unless I am dying and need them.”
The complaint was passed on to many others:
“I can’t help you.
You have to go upstairs [present the problem to another person,
write down your questions
and send them to another department].”
Or, “We’re just a distributor;
you will have to contact the manufacturer.”
Customers will whine:
“Why are they making it so difficult?
Don’t they want me to be their customer?”
Attitude to avoid personal responsibility:
“I didn’t do this!
It’s not my fault!”
“I’d love to help you,
but I’m not in charge of handling this.”
“I just work here;
I did not make these rules.”
“I did not serve you before;
but my colleague.”
“This is the fault of our suppliers
stupid company policies,
my weird manager…],
so what do you want now?
The goods are already sold.” Customer Review:
“These are professionals who blame others.
No one wanted to take the responsibility,
so they sent a junior employee to work with me.
These people can’t do even the simplest things!”
Sometimes the complainant frowns,
pretending to be impatient to tell the customer
that the customer is wasting their time.
These employees are acting like they have more important things
to do than listen to customers with
These were not put into words,
but the general atmosphere said it all.
The customer concludes:
“They say they want to hear my feedback,
but the things they do make me uncomfortable.”
Before being helped,
the customer is asked a series of questions.
“What’s your name?
When did you buy this item?
Who helped him?
Who told you that?
Did you pay in cash?
Where’s your bill?
Do you have a customer registration number?
What was your mother’s maiden name?”
Maybe the company really needs this information,
but we shouldn’t start a service recovery process like that,
because customers will think,
“They’re trying to hold me hostage
when I just want to get my money back.”
The client interview usually leads
to an interrogation of the client.
Interrogation of the Client:
The client is subject to suspicion of his motives,
or right to complain. “
How do I know you are telling the truth?
Are you sure you bought something here?
Did you follow the instructions correctly?
Have you read the small print document on page 30,
which lists all the exceptions?
Did you read anything in the manual?
Are you sure you didn’t drop it?”
The “interrogation” usually ends with the sentence:
“Anyone can make such a claim.
You won’t believe it,
so many people have told us all kinds of stories like this.”
This customer says: censored(7).
When customers complain,
if they are treated badly,
the service problems they have experienced are magnified.
Customers are not stupid.
They sensed the impoliteness in the staff standing at the front desk.
They also pick up on even the tiniest cues
that tell them not to complain.
Sometimes they grasp these implications right away.
Because of being too sensitive,
the customer will become impatient,
and even a small problem can turn into a big problem.
And if you’ve faced all sorts of attitudes
that deliberately discourage customers,
and they still complain,
they will most likely cause serious problems for your company.
The type of management structure
that makes customers not want
to complain the management structure
of many companies makes customers not know
where and how to complain,
since then they do not want to complain anymore.
Try visiting a few Web sites
to see how many companies display their contact phone numbers
in a location
where you won’t have to spend time searching.
President of Better Business Bureaus,
Inc., told a conference in The Hague that
before attending the meeting,
he visited 20 major Web sites
and was surprised to find none.
Which of these pages uses the words “customer complaints” or “problems of use”.
Underhill argues that this responsibility lies
with the marketing department
because they accept no other truth than that the customer
is completely satisfied with them.
Zappos.com places a great deal of importance on placing a toll-free number
-800- on every page of their Web.
This may be the only online retailer that does this,
and if they’re not,
they’re clearly one of the very few that do.
Complaining can get customers in trouble.
Customers who openly comment often feel left out of the game.
Many people feel unfairly treated and shun the company.
Consider the following example,
a typical example of people
who “try” to complain about a business
and end up saying everything story
for a lot of people because of the way people have treated you.
Mitchell Gooze is a professional broadcaster
(this detail is important later in the story).
Gooze bought a set of LG VCR/DVD player/receiver.
LG is a trademark of a Korean manufacturer,
once known by the Lucky Goldstar brand.
LG advertises its electronic and communication devices as the best quality.
The DVD player that Gooze bought worked great for the first nine months,
then stopped working. About a month later,
Gooze had to search around to call the number -800- on the company’s Web site.
(Janelle herself tried to find out where the phone number was,
and after about 30 clicks still couldn’t find it,
probably because she wasn’t patient enough like Gooze.)
Gooze was happy to receive feedback from the company,
except that he had to wait a while.
The machine is still under warranty and Gooze can send it to them,
but they need three to five weeks to fix it.
About a month later, LG called him and said they couldn’t fix the locomotive
because he hadn’t transferred the $69 service registration fee to them.
Gooze had never heard anyone tell him about this.
He reads his credit card number to LG and expects his locomotive
to be repaired while they still have it.
About a week later,
he got the locomotive back and it was still broken.
He phoned LG again
and was told
that his credit card was not accepted.
He asked how he didn’t know about this
since he was told everything was fine.
The agent told him he should have checked his credit card bill
and suggested he return the locomotive to them with $199
(more than the cost of the locomotive)
because it was no longer available warranty period,
at that time more than one year.
Gooze objected to this absurd argument
because he sent it out while under warranty.
I see this case is going nowhere.
But Gooze doesn’t give up easily.
He asked to speak to the manager
but they said LG has no manager in the US
and no matter what he told anyone he would get the same answer.
Gooze, originally a pleasant and cheerful person,
said that in that moment,
he suddenly became fierce like a “killer”.
In the US, there is no way
to contact LG other than by calling this number -800-.
Thus, through that kind of customer care system,
LG has effectively separated themselves
from the problems that are happening to their customers.
Gooze then described the key details of this story
in a talk on his key radio show
and posted the whole story on his e-newsletters.
In addition, LG also received other consequences.
The sad thing is,
it wasn’t until someone in Korea read this book
or heard one of Gooze’s talks that they knew about the story.
Of course Gooze bought a new DVD player,
and not an LG product.
His son just got married
and he gave him a bunch of new non-LG appliances worth about $5,000.
Just because of the $130 regret,
LG lost thousands of dollars in revenue from this customer,
Gooze says he will never buy LG products again.
“You only love a brand
when people act like a human being
and you hate it when they can’t,”
he said whenever you haven’t done your job well,
there is bound to be at least one complaint.
And as soon as customers are betrayed on warranty promises,
more unfavorable messages emerge.
Here are a few other ways to imply
that customers are better off not complaining.
People don’t know where
and how to complain many retail stores do not have clear signage
for customers to know where Customer Service is located.
Sometimes service representatives aren’t available to listen to
what customers have to respond to.
Many customers with feedback that need to be provided
to managers are told to go to Customer Service,
which is solely responsible for product exchanges,
not listening or recording complaints
for resolution manage
or transfer them to the board of directors.
It is possible that the customer will eventually find a phone number,
that number has nothing to do with handling customer complaints
or they will be able to contact the operator,
but this person also doesn’t know
where to direct the complaint.
This operator can connect customers to anyone
who will then transfer them to another person
, and this person also doesn’t know
where to direct the complaint.
The customer eventually got frustrated
and asked to speak to the head of the company,
who obviously didn’t need to be able
to resolve their initial complaint.
You can do an experiment yourself.
When you’re shopping, go to a big store
and ask where you can complain.
Ask around and notice how many people
who work in the store know where to take you.
See how many people try
to solve your problem as quickly as possible.
Or call companies in your area and tell the person
who answers the phone
that you want to complain about one of their products
and ask who you should tell.
Or call a large company,
perhaps a Fortune-100 company in the United States,
and ask who you should contact by phone
for an address to mail complaints for company.
In our experience,
unless you are very lucky,
you will not get prompt
and satisfactory answers.
Then do a similar test with your own company.
Complaints often come with trouble
Customers are often asked
to discuss their problems
with someone who can handle their complaints within certain hours.
But these times fall
within the customer’s business hours.
Customers may be asked to fill out very confusing forms
or forms that don’t have space for specific problems or complaints.
On the web, a series of menus of options can force customers
to click buttons that don’t describe their situation,
and don’t offer an “other” option.
Some companies take more risk
because they give the impression
that complaints are the cause of so much trouble.
For example, many high-tech companies outsource customer service
and customers don’t know that they are talking to a company
that is not the one that makes the product.
For example, a customer can call a software company’s support phone line
to report a product defect,
and unfortunately that is also the end of the 30-day free support period.
But what if the customer doesn’t need support right now
and just wants to report a bug in the software?
They will be told
that they are contacting the product service support person,
not the manufacturer.
To report a software bug,
they must contact the software company directly.
However, the software company did not know
how to direct this customer to call to complain.
(Can this happen? Yes, it did to one of the two authors of this book.)
So, what is the motivation for customers
to respond to this software company?
Therefore, companies that contract customer service
with subcontractors must carefully coordinate their complaints handling policies
so that they are consistently
and consistently followed by subcontractors customary.
The company does not fulfill its responsibilities.
Sometimes the complaint handling mechanism is set up very well,
but when a complaint comes up,
no one comes forward to handle it.
Customers are frustrated
because they have not received a response
and may not want to complain anymore in the future.
There are many reasons
why customers do not receive a response from the company.
who are in direct contact
with customers receive customer complaints
but then don’t deliver this content
to where it needs to be,
they don’t even think it’s part of their job.
In fact, many employees in the department
who should be answering customer questions tell customers
to contact Customer Service directly.
Culture experts have found that in the same way
that customers don’t want to complain,
employees don’t like to pass complaints up.
They seem to think that by passing on
such bad news they are criticizing the company’s policymakers.
So they take complaints lightly,
blame the customer,
or simply don’t pass the information on at all.
In fact, Professor Alan Andreasen of Georgetown University has written
that just as front-line employees don’t want to pass on complaints,
managers don’t like hearing about customer dissatisfaction.
Perhaps this manager will frown or get angry
when he hears a complaint.
How many employees want to deal with something like that?
Only when such attitudes about complaints are changed
across the business can you expect
to convey to customers the message
that the company listens to them all the time.
In a large-scale survey,
service workers were asked how much encouragement they received
from their managers to report customer feedback and complaints.
One-third of them think their management actually encourages it,
17% say they receive no encouragement at all
and 23% say they receive little encouragement.
When we asked managers directly
if they wanted to hear from customers,
they all said that they always encourage their employees
to report customer feedback.
It seems that the information we receive is not consistent.
Surveys of employees working in the customer relations department show
that the more complaints this department receives
regarding the way they communicate with customers,
the more isolated they are
from other departments in company.
So the customer relations department became the custodian
of nasty secrets about customer dissatisfaction.
This vicious cycle shows that the more complaints a company receives,
the less likely they are to want to hear them.
That shows why companies often lack enthusiasm in handling complaints.
Warranty: Annoying or motivating factor for customers to complain?
Warranties can be the root cause of all complaints by making so many requests
that every customer chooses to give up
before filling out the required information.
Customers are also required to submit the registration
form immediately after purchase.
Many companies even claim the original packaging
when the buyer returns the item.
In most cases, a purchase receipt is required
(in addition to the credit card receipt).
Or, the customer is forced to send the product
to a remote location
when only a small part of the product is in need of warranty.
The warranty is only applicable
when certain conditions are met.
Sometimes the repair time is
so long that the customer abandons the item altogether
and agrees to buy another rather than wait.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that customers perceive multiple warranties
as marketing ploys,
and they could be.
Warranty cards make customers feel as if they are protected,
but in reality,
those warranties are usually not used
unless the product is an expensive item.
Yet, in one study, 91% of the customers interviewed said
that asking for a warranty card
to be returned has a great influence on
where they will decide to buy a product.
Perhaps most customers don’t think they’ll get any benefits from warranties,
but it’s this promise that makes them feel more secure with their purchase.
Musician Jon Schwartz, also known as Vinny Verelli,
has a fond memory of the Iomega label. Years ago,
in order to back up a considerable amount of his music files,
he chose to buy an external hard drive (the easily removable type).
But to do this, he had to change a lot of drives,
all done entirely according to the very detailed warranty instructions.
Thus, this warranty is only effective
when customers have to buy replacement devices.
Unfortunately, the expense of buying
those replacements renders the warranty useless.
First, Schwartz spent hours phoning engineering.
The technicians instructed him to do all the proper checks and said, ‘
The drive has failed.
Send it to us.’
He knew this well enough
because he was too experienced in the Iomega’s ‘failed drive’ situation.
He even bought a second drive in case the previous one failed
so he wanted to make a backup for this poor quality drive.
The new drive soon failed,
and he switched to his backup drive,
which eventually failed.
This story has continued for 5 years;
Schwartz couldn’t switch to another brand
because he stored his music files on Iomega’s storage discs,
so only Iomega’s drives could read them.
When CDs became popular and Schwartz was able
to save room with his music files on it,
he vowed never to buy an Iomega product again.
And he did exactly that.
The dedicated customer care staff
and the warranty regimes are not enough
to maintain customer loyalty.
The product itself must also ensure the quality.
Even swapping one product for another
but causing trouble won’t satisfy the customer.
According to Deakin University researchers,
focusing on the service recovery process
by itself is not enough.
“Completely relying on warranty claims
to win back customers can be the very thing
that doesn’t satisfy customers.”
Surely Jon Schwartz would very much agree with this idea.
Here is a typical example of a warranty in practice.
Policy to create satisfaction for customers
We are committed to total customer satisfaction.
Within 30 days of purchase,
the customer may request a full refund of the product value provided
that the unopened product is returned
to the company along with the original sales documents.
The customer cannot return an opened product unless the product is defective,
except in very special cases;
Please inquire with our representative.
Before returning a product,
please phone our customer service department
to obtain a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number
and for further instructions.
Can such a policy bring about
the complete customer satisfaction promised in the opening sentence?
How many people buy a product
but don’t open it only to find out it’s not what they need?
And, why would a customer want to return a product if it’s not defective?
You might say,
“If a software company gets back open software
that is still in good operating condition,
won’t they go out of business?
What if computer users have installed hardware in their computers?
In fact, most software companies can determine
when a product has been installed if those computers are online,
which is nearly always the case.
Companies can simply spread their unusable software all over the Internet.
We have told all the companies
that offer the following warranties:
“A full satisfaction guarantee is good.
But you also have to be prepared for some very odd complaints.”
Promising complete satisfaction is generally the wrong way to go,
as it makes shoppers
who already have an aversion to it even more skeptical.
Personal preference makes complete gratification very difficult to achieve.
For example, how can you guarantee complete satisfaction
with the temperature of a hotel swimming pool?
These pools will easily become too hot
or too cold for different people.
A famous German design company has guaranteed
that they will repair all writing instruments free of charge – forever.
This sounds great until you learn
that there is an automatic service fee of $20 per repair,
and your pencil or ink pen must be transported by an insured vehicle,
in addition to a 20% surcharge of total freight.
This “free service warranty” amount is up to 15% of the value of the pen.
When you are planning to buy a pen,
they proudly offer a warranty,
but nothing to do with the cost of carrying out the warranty afterwards.
What is an effective warranty?
Above all, it should assure customers that if they are not satisfied,
the company will assist them immediately.
From a marketing standpoint,
a warranty is a statement to the consumer
that the company believes in the quality
of its products and guarantees that quality.
Then all confusion among consumers will disappear.
Even for companies that are known
for having the best quality products,
consumers still prefer product warranties.
Customers always want to have everything clearly explained.
Offering an explicit warranty won’t necessarily keep your shop crowded
with customers bringing in products
for repair if you already have a sizable reputation.
But, even if your product is of good quality
and consumers know this well,
offering a specific warranty
still helps you communicate with customers better.
An effective warranty does not mean that customers
will always get a 100% new product
or a money back whenever they say they are not satisfied.
But it does mean they have to feel
that the company always helps them achieve satisfaction
through a well-appointed hotel room,
a well-functioning computer, or a delicious hot hamburger.
Jochen Wirtz at the National University
of Singapore did an experiment involving
a supposed best warranty.
It is a warranty that fully describes the properties and is “unlimited”.
Or, a warranty that is not unconditional,
And, a warranty is like telling a customer:
“Give us a chance.
If we do not satisfy you,
we will compensate you
by refunding or replacing
or repairing this product.
We will never abandon you.”
He concluded: the warranty
that gives customers complete satisfaction
is a warranty based on product attributes.
The primary reason for this is that,
as Wirtz reports,
consumers are uncertain about
what is included in a full satisfaction warranty,
and this results in a “deduction of expected value”.
This is an important point,
and we are pleased to include it in this book
because many warranty builders reluctantly fear fraudulent customers.
Regulators need to further understand
that warranties for specific attributes are,
in fact, just as effective as tick-in-the-blank warranties,
a kind of warranty that,
scares most managers.
This also means that businesses should conduct research
to find out which attributes customers want covered by the warranty.
This opinion is very valuable.
Here’s the bottom line: they’re probably
what customers complain about most of the time.
Family Fare is committed to ensuring a clean washroom.
Otherwise, their customers get a free cup of coffee.
Family Fare doesn’t have to spend a lot of coffee,
and the company actually doesn’t care having to offer coffee.
This warranty has affected employee behavior
so much that even team leaders are willing
to mop the toilet floors if they become soiled.
Some products may require limited warranty coverage.
However, when those limits are put in place,
companies must be careful
when using the phrase total satisfaction.
Car companies, for example,
cannot exchange a used car for a 100% new one
at any time on any customer request.
But a chain of fast food restaurants
that sell meatloaf can easily exchange a meatloaf
that customers aren’t happy with.
Carl Sewell, a car salesman
and author of the best-selling book Customers for Life,
offers a limited but still very good customer satisfaction warranty.
Sewell Village Cadillac has relationships with customers
whose families have purchased dozens
of vehicles from this car dealership,
and the store does not want
to turn away (to a limited extent) such customers. .
Sewell said that if a customer buys a car
from Sewell Village Cadillac,
runs straight home to show it to his spouse,
and he or she hates the paint,
he will gladly take the car back without ask any question.
But if a person buys a car,
drives it around for 10 days,
and finds out that he can get it cheaper at another car dealership,
Sewell won’t take the car back.
Sales is business,
and our goal of complete customer satisfaction does not include refunds
in such cases, says Sewell.
Easy product return has contributed
to the well-deserved customer-voted championship of Nordstrom,
a sophisticated retailer that even calls itself Nordies.
Nordstrom customers spend more,
pay higher prices,
and refer their acquaintances to shop there.
In the early 1990s,
based on sales per square foot,
Nordstrom outperformed any retail store in the United States.
As Nordstrom began expanding the chain beyond the Seattle area,
a vision of the demise of large,
luxury malls was foreseen.
Nordstrom rose to the top with huge profits
and incredible customer loyalty.
If you give your customers what they want
and handle all of their complaints well,
you’re likely to succeed in almost any market.
Many hotels have begun to jump on the warranty trend.
As a result, these hotels are implementing impressive advertising strategies.
Eric Pfeffer, President of Howard Johnson Franchise Systems,
used statistics to support his hotel warranties.
He says that a guest who is satisfied
with how a complaint is handled is 92% more likely
to return to that hotel.
And a guest with an unresolved issue is less
than 50% likely to return to the reservation.
Empowering employees is the key
to keeping the warranty system running well.
Employees who deal directly
with customers must know the company’s warranties well,
when customers complain,
and understand that making customers happy is important in their best.
McDonald’s has organized courses video training shows examples
in which people pose as customers
and employees to show managers
and counter staff how
to perform McDonald’s warranties.
The Elements of a Perfect Warranty Policy Christopher Hart,
who coined the term “dynamic warranty”(10),
asserts that every company with a superior warranty
is moving faster than the competition,
and ultimately improve their financial performance.
In its most effective form,
this warranty promises outstanding service quality
and maximum customer satisfaction.
This warranty guarantees
to fulfill all of the company’s promises
and is ready to refund customers
with a few simple constraints,
while helping to restore customer trust in a spectacular way.
The purpose of the superior warranty is not only to ensure
that the customer’s spending through your company will be safe,
but also to help you detect
what customers are not satisfied with to find solutions.
Obviously that’s not a strategy
that works for every company,
but for those committed to following the trend,
the results are very different.
Hart contacted the Northeast Delta Dental Department.
Thanks to their superior warranties,
their market share has grown from 25% in 1995 to 80% in 2006,
even though their prices are consistently 20% higher than the industry average.
Tom Jones, CEO of Epsilon,
a company specializing in customer database marketing,
once wrote a check for $210,000,
which was the full amount the customer paid for them.
The company has built in a guarantee
that guarantees unconditional customer satisfaction
or a 100% money-back guarantee.
Jones says paying customers back will put pressure on his staff;
All of this is not simply a marketing ploy.
He wanted his entire staff to think about
what they needed to do to be able
to assure customers of such a level of service.
Jones said: “People call me crazy,
but I find it amusing myself.
There are only a few rare opportunities for a CEO
to make a big change through a small action,
and this is one of them.”
that even customers don’t want their money back.
You can imagine how this information spread throughout Epsilon.
“That $210,000 was my best investment,” says Jones.
Jones is hitting a point that others have done:
a warranty commitment
also acts as an internal change agent.
It keeps your employees focused on meeting
the terms of your warranty
and helps define the terms of employee empowerment namely,
doing what is necessary to meet the requirements warranty terms.
Christopher Hart has described a superior warranty
as a marketing strategy of a reputable business in the market.
According to him,
this warranty has three parts:
Promise: a clear “unlimited” commitment,
where there is no word to shirk responsibility.
Refunds: a surprising
but clear statement of what the customer will get.
a clear statement of the no-hassle warranty process
for customers to get their money back easily
in the event of a problem.
According to Hart,
the process also needs to be proactive
(“We noticed a mistake,
even if you didn’t see it”)
(“We sincerely apologize
and don’t want this to happen.” Again”).
When a customer asks your company for a warranty,
take this opportunity to restore their trust rather
than scrutinize the terms of the warranty.
Once Janelle offered to get a refund
for a “no questions asked” warranty (11)
then the money was transferred
to Janelle’s account without question,
without a word. no feedback from the supplier,
and no attempt was made to entice her
to purchase again in the future.
What a waste of an opportunity!
At the very least,
the rep can say,
“We know that our warranty isn’t to ask questions,
so we respect that you didn’t tell us why.
Why is she not satisfied?
But really, that reason helps us a lot.
Your feedback will help us better serve other customers.”
How such a word would win Janelle’s trust back.
Finally, one thing to be cautious about in terms of warranties
and customer complaint handling.
Domino’s is a well-known pizza maker
who once made sure that if a call
to order pizza didn’t come within 30 minutes
, the pizza would be served to them free of charge.
Perhaps many readers think that
Domino’s will have trouble making this commitment
because the company can’t keep its promise in case
its delivery staff gets into an accident
because of a race at speed.
Domino’s also found that many pizza orderers feel guilty about benefiting
from a few minutes late delivery by Domino’s employees.
So Domino’s has slowed their riders down
(currently the time guarantee is around 30 minutes)
and insists on a Comprehensive Warranty:
“If for any reason
If you are not satisfied with our pizza,
we will give you another pizza
or give you a refund.”
Domino’s sales have always occupied the highest position
and they are still receiving customer
feedback about their cake delivery service.
Today, Domino’s is considered a very strong brand
and is present in more than 55 countries around the world.
They are the largest pizza restaurant chain in the world
with more than 145,000 employees,
delivering more than 1.3 million pizzas per day
and generating about $1.4 billion a year.
How before fraudsters to get warranty?
However, Hart is careful
to note that you can’t come up with a standard
of “extreme customer satisfaction
or 100% money back
” without implementing the necessary processes internally
within your business.
He points out that most superior warranties are strongly opposed
by the financial and legal departments within the company.
These departments always want
to add more constraints in the warranty
and in the end these warranties are no longer superior.
The experience we have gained
from working with companies is
that not all members of the legal department interfere
In fact, only managers
who are not brave enough are afraid of fraudulent customers
who are waiting to make money
After all, we fully understand
that people can pose as customers to steal goods,
as evidenced by countless cases of