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Author Topic: How to keep an angry customer  (Read 152 times)

Offline bigbuck

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How to keep an angry customer
« on: February 20, 2013, 08:51:15 PM »

How To Keep An Angry CustomerSteve Strauss, The Strauss Group, Inc., Recent Posts
Related Keywords: customer relations, keeping customers

  May 27, 2011

Related topicsManaging
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What do you do when a customer complains about your business? Most small businesses try and fix it, others ignore, and still others just donít care. A survey that I recently ran across indicates there is one simple thing you can do to dramatically increase your ability to convert the unhappy into the happy.
The study had to do with customer complaints, retention, and the like. The survey came to the same conclusion that many of us have heard before, namely, that it costs five times as much to create a new customer as it does to retain a current one.
Given that, it follows that one of the smartest and most cost effective things you can do to build your business is to take care of current customers. The 5-1 ratio is even more important to keep in mind when a customer complains because that same survey contained this statistical nugget: 95 percent of dissatisfied customers would do business again with a company if their problems were solved quickly and satisfactorily.
That is actually incredibly useful information. Given that most people who complain are typically very fed up by the time they get to the complaint stage and their chances of staying on as a customer are minimal, that you can actually keep them given the right effort is amazing. And more importantly, it will cost five times as much to replace them if you donít.
So what does that mean? Make them happy. Even if you disagree with the complaint and complainer, too bad. The numbers donít lieó95 percent of your unhappy customers will stick around if you just make them happy this one time.
Letís do the math. Say that you have a busy store and on average, you get one complaint a week. Thatís about 50 unhappy customers a year, and letís further guess that 40 are mad enough to stay away. It costs you $50 to keep a customer. That means that keeping those 40 customers would normally cost you $2,000. But replacing them will cost you 5x thatóa whopping $10,000. That is, of course, unless you resolve the dispute quickly and fairly.
Now, does this mean that the customer is always right? Of course not. But who cares? If you want to save some dough, you may have to swallow your pride on occasion and bite the bullet.
So, just how do you convert the angry?
1.   Ask the customer how he or she would prefer the problem be resolved, and resolve it that way if possible.
2.   If a customer wants a refund, give it to them.
3.   If you are convinced that your business is not at fault, it is still smart to honor a reasonable request. Explain to the customer how similar situations can be avoided, be humble, and express regret that the customer had a negative experience.
4. Even if you disagree with the complainer, offer the customer a gift certificate to make amends. That will go a long way into making them happy enough to stick with you and it costs a whole lot less than the cost to replace them.

Offline niobrara

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Re: How to keep an angry customer
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 06:33:44 AM »
Good information.

Offline Repairit

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Re: How to keep an angry customer
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 08:45:09 AM »
Big Buck!
Thanks for sharing... great information!

Offline tgoods

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Re: How to keep an angry customer
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 10:03:58 AM »
It seems the customer I have to bend over backwards to please is the one I never hear from again. For instance, I've had many calls where I get there and it's something simple like a tripped breaker or plugged air gap.  The customer complains about paying the service call for a couple of minutes of work. I comp them the service, because I figure I'll make it up on their next call.  They NEVER call again. If someone's really difficult, I'm more than happy to let somebody else take their next call. I have too many great customers to put up with crappy ones.

Offline wildimaginations

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Re: How to keep an angry customer
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 01:16:03 AM »
Nah, works maybe in a retail store setting or dentist office setting but in the appliance repair industry, they never call back.  Nor do I want them to call back.  Rather spend my time with the nicer customers already wanting their appliances fixed as quickly as possible.  I have enough that I don't worry about those angry and ungrateful customers.
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Offline andersenappliance

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Re: How to keep an angry customer
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 07:37:50 PM »
I won't comp my service call. NONONONONONONONONONO!

I've had good experience giving a coupon for the next time though.  That seems to mollify them, and if they don't call back, it doesn't cost me.  If they do, I keep the customer.

I can't see paying 10 grand to get 50 customers.  Heck, 50 customers won't even make me 10 grand!  I call BS.

I would also be careful about asking the customer how they would like the problem resolved.  It raises their expectations, and if you can't do it, you are still in trouble with them.

Also, remember that about 2 percent of people, on average, are really trying to defraud you.  Perhaps that is a strong word, but there is a significant number of people who will, and a greater number of people who will grind on you, work you, and take advantage.  It is a game to them.

Keep good customers, especially the repeat ones.  Don't bother with the first timers who are pains in the neck.  And don't believe anyone who says they'll be a regular customer if you give them a break.  Give them breaks after they are a regular customer.

Offline domain

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Re: How to keep an angry customer
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 10:00:39 PM »
I tell the office to have the angry/demanding customers to call another service company. I am here to help, and nothing but that. Angry customers are a no no, and I say BYE BYE. :D

Offline Wedgeman55

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Re: How to keep an angry customer
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 10:33:00 PM »
I have to tell you,  I can count on one hand the number of dis-satisfied customers I've had.   Over 10 years!   I can usually resolve any problems.    I use a case by case basis,   but in general I would give a refund EXCEPT for the service call.    That gets charged reguardless.    I have never really had a complaint on this.    For my real good customers,  lets say I go there and it wasn't too far out of my way,  and I can't fix it.   Like condemning a belt drive whirlpool.    I have waived the service call and tell them to use money toward new machine.   They usually try to give it to me anyway.   But that is for good customers.   
I would say this.    If someone is so dis-satisfied with me that they want a refund,  that might be the way to go.    Would help you get problem off your back,  and  prevent bad publicity.   Remember this - people will remember a bad publicity (not to use your company) vs good publicty.    I seem to have found the right formula.   
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
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