Sorry to break it to you, but things will go wrong. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have the ability to avoid mishaps, but most of the time we do not. As a consumer, when thing go wrong I fully expect a company to fix the problem and to regain my trust. No matter what the issue was or who was at fault, the customer is always right.
I recently made a substantial purchase from an airline company and accidentally signed up for unwanted and very expensive upgrades. I felt tricked into selecting these options and the charges doubled. I called many times over the course of a week and was given the runaround.
Cue angry tweet. Without using foul language, I expressed my frustration and directed it to the company’s Twitter page.
By the time I refreshed the webpage, another dissatisfied customer retweeted what I wrote and was “happy” to know that they were not alone in dealing with this company’s customer service department. When I saw this I almost felt bad that my frustration resonated with a fellow user, but I also received an immediate response via Twitter by a very understanding customer service representative. In the span of about twenty minutes, I went from blood boiling anger to complete satisfaction with the resolution.
After this less-than-anticipated encounter, I had more positive feelings about the company than I did before I experienced the issue. This is an example of how valuable it is to resolve issues that your customer has with your product and or service. It makes much more business sense to retain customer loyalty than it is to disregard the complaint and to find new customers.
I’m not advocating that the use of angry tweets will solve all of your problems, and similarly not saying that every company should only focus on the complaints fired off using social media. There are many ways that you can encourage a customer service culture.
Always be prompt with responses. Nothing makes a human feel more unimportant than not hearing back from a person or company they have reached out to. Feeling unimportant leads to anger and taking their business elsewhere.
Make things right. I saw a sign in a sub shop one time that explained the three parts of an apology: 1) what I did was wrong. 2) I am sorry that I hurt you. 3) How can I make things better? This formula also works for customer satisfaction. Acknowledge that a mistake was made, apologize for the action and propose a plan for repairing the relationship.