Make Sure Customers Think They Are Right
September 23, 2021
It's difficult for many businesses to admit that customers are always right whether they are or not. At least, customers should be made to think that they are right. This philosophy should be the norm as a regular business principle but even more so when competition for customers has intensified due to the effects of the ongoing global pandemic.
While large businesses can better sustain dissatisfied customers who choose not to return, small businesses and SMEs must rely heavily on repeat customers and word-of-mouth promoting to grow and succeed.
When disputes or dissatisfaction arises with a customer, consider the following so the customer knows who is right:
Exceptional Customer Service
Customers not only want value for the money they spend with a business, but also want to feel valued and appreciated. When dissatisfaction occurs during or after the actual sale or dissatisfaction arises with a product or service purchased, exceptional customer service must kick in. When passion and commitment to customer satisfaction is demonstrated, this attitude lets dissatisfied customers know they are valued, appreciated, and “right” regarding any dispute or dissatisfaction.
While many businesses only concentrate on sales, the business that excels in customer service with both satisfied and dissatisfied customers will eventually excel in sales, as well. When disputes occur and they most certainly will, providing exceptional customer service can help soothe dissatisfaction.
Outperform the Competition
When businesses have comparable products and services, one way to gain loyalty and turn dissatisfied customers into satisfied customers is to outperform the competition regarding disputes. Let customers know and build a reputation that your business will make everything “right” should there be any dissatisfaction. A key factor to success is to understand how to outperform the competition one way or another.
Know What Customers Want
Certainly, customers want products and services a business has to offer, but they also want attention from employees, know they can depend on the business for its products and services, appreciate follow-up after a sale, and seek prompt action when needed. Discuss this with employees and make sure they understand this business philosophy. Information obtained from customers and observations should be shared with all employees. When relevant information is shared, employees become more engaged and committed. This helps drive the philosophy of a goal to ensure that all customers are satisfied when doing business with your company.
Promote Customer Satisfaction
It is not enough to simply place emphasis on customer service with employees. Customer satisfaction policies should be well-established and followed. These should be discussed with new employees and periodically reviewed with all employees to reinforce the business's commitment to customers. Successful businesses often utilize a creative license concept that gives employees the authorization to do whatever is necessary within reason to satisfy a customer. Even though a customer might be in the “wrong” in the eyes of the business, a little something extra might be all that is needed to make a disagreement “right” with the customer.
Measure Customer Satisfaction
Stressing customer service and ultimate customer satisfaction is important but satisfaction should also be measured with feedback based on follow-up after a sale, customer questionnaires, and tracking repeat business. Analyzing this type of information and then making changes where warranted can produce positive results. And, it never hurts to reward employees who demonstrate a firm commitment to customer service, customer excellence, and positive feedback from customers.
Say It Right
Responses to customers can be positive or negative. It's all in the wording and tone. Stress positive responses with employees and positive actions and satisfaction are likely to follow from customers. Know what to say and how to say it such as:
• We can solve your problem.
• How can I assist you?
• Our apologies for this inconvenience, confusion, or whatever the dissatisfaction might be.
• I don't know the answer, but I'll certainly find out and get back to you.
• How can we satisfy you with your purchase?
• First let me say that we certainly appreciate and value your business.
It's inevitable that not every customer will be satisfied all the time. When this happens, it is important to handle the situation promptly, so a dissatisfied customer is turned into a satisfied customer by doing the following:
• Handle complaints immediately
• Listen first, then speak
• Don't argue...remember the customer is right
• Be positive and polite
• Accept responsibility on behalf of the business
• Figure out what will make the situation "right" for the customer
Remember, it’s all about customer satisfaction all the time!