This week I had the chance to see a best-selling author speak. Shep Hyken is a professional speaker and author who specializes in “helping companies build loyal relationships with their customers and employees.” In an entertaining and informative session, Shep delivered a presentation on how to create an amazing customer experience. In this first post of a two-part series, we’ll look at identifying and handling what Shep calls Moments of Misery.
When dealing with an unhappy customer, you have an opportunity to create a Moment of Magic – or turn that unpleasant experience into an amazing one. Focus on being helpful, rather than defensive (or even aggressive!) by following these three steps:
1) Empathize – Let the customer know you understand their situation.
2) Sympathize – Ask questions that prompt for positive responses.
3) Educate – Let your customer know that you care.
For example, if you pick up the phone to a screaming irate customer, your initial response might be to defend your product or your service. Instead, try to segue into something like the following:
“Mr./Mrs. Jones, I understand that you are not happy about this situation and I am going to do everything I can to make this right/rectify the situation.” <= Empathy
“The reason you called today is you hope we can solve this for you right?” <= Sympathy
“I know that you are upset, so would you please explain one more time from the whole problem/situation from the top.” <= They know that you care! (You are letting them vent, and the repetition will often take the steam out of their sails.)
This should give you a solid start to turning customer issues into positive experiences – but there is more to customer service than simply fielding complaints.
Important points about unhappy customers
• Just because a person doesn’t complain, doesn’t mean he/she is happy.
• The typical business hears from only 4% of dissatisfied customers.
• 95% of dissatisfied customers never make a complaint – and 70-80% will never come back!
So, aside from the miserable customer finding you, how do you find them?
• Send a satisfaction survey
• Ask them!
According to Shep, the two most important questions is to ask your customers is this:
Ask your customers, on a scale of 1-10 how likely they would be to refer you to a friend? (If the answer is 9 or 10, you’re doing great. 7-8 is okay, anything else and you’re in trouble.
Is there one thing you can think of that would make doing business with us better?
In part two of our series, we’ll look at some of Shep’s tips on communication, and how to create Moments of Magic for your customers.