Everybody gets customer complaints once in awhile. Improperly handled, those complaints can erode customer relationships. Properly handled, they can actually deepen them. How is this possible? Studies have shown that companies’ responses to critical customer feedback can change the way consumers feel about companies, products, and brands. Customers value brands that listen and respond to them, so it is important to develop a company culture of responsiveness and caring.
Here are some tips to help you turn a negative into a positive:
1. Set up a formal customer feedback program. Create an environment in which it’s easy for customers to make contact with you. Customers are more likely to provide feedback by print or email than they are at the checkout counter.
2. Ditch the boilerplate. If a customer complains, personalize your responses to each individual and his or her specific issue. Give them a real human being to deal with.
3. Pre-fill response forms. The easier you make it for customers to return forms, the more likely they are to do so. Pre-fill information such as name and address, make and model of product, and serial number.
4. Use multiple channels. Surveys show that when brands communicate with customers across multiple channels, customers are happier with their purchases and the brand overall. Create a consistent brand experience regardless of channel the customer uses to communicate with you.
5. Tap into your customer data. Data-driven communications can really help with customer retention and customer satisfaction. Use triggered messaging to automatically generate a thank you (such as personalized thank-you emails) to let them know you appreciate the feedback, whether positive or not.
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