Actioning Customer Feedback: The Secret to Turning Difficult Customers into Loyal Advocates

Difficult customers!

Every business has them, and no one likes to get customer feedback that is challenging to handle. So what’s the secret to turning difficult customers into loyal advocates?

The most important thing to remember is not to think of customers as difficult but merely as angry, frustrated or disappointed with the product or service they bought from us.

You may never have considered this, but customer complaints are actually a gift! Research shows that for every customer who complains, there are 20 or more who don’t complain and just switch to your competitor!

Wouldn’t you prefer to have the chance to retain their loyalty? That’s why you should do everything possible to respond quickly and positively to every complaint.

 

The Gift of Customer Complaints

When a customer reaches out with a complaint, they are offering you the chance to improve and strengthen your business in several ways:

  1. You get the chance to put things right and make them happy.
  2. You get the chance to stop them churning/leaving for the competition.
  3. You get the chance to delight them so they share their experience with others and build your positive image.

Let’s look at these in more detail, using recent examples to demonstrate best practices:

Correcting Mistakes:

  • Netflix: Netflix is known for actively monitoring customer complaints and using advanced data analytics to identify and correct issues. When they encountered streaming problems in the past, they quickly addressed them by upgrading their infrastructure, leading to improved service quality. This is a great example of exceeding the customer’s expectations, creating even greater delight.
  • Toyota: Toyota has a history of addressing product quality concerns promptly. In the case of the 2010 recall, due to accelerator pedal issues, Toyota swiftly communicated with affected customers, provided fixes, and introduced enhanced safety measures.
  • Samsung: Samsung’s handling of the Galaxy Note 7 battery issue is another prime example. They recalled and replaced the faulty devices, prioritizing customer safety and satisfaction. This transparent and rapid response helped mitigate the impact on their brand reputation.

Customers expect you to put things right. They don’t expect more than that in most cases. So going above and beyond will immediately change a negative into a positive event that the customer will share with their friends and family.

 

Preventing Churn:

  • Comcast: Comcast has made efforts to reduce customer churn by offering flexible plans and improved customer service. They introduced “Xfinity Mobile” to bundle mobile services with cable and internet, aiming to keep customers within their ecosystem.
  • Adobe: Adobe’s transition to a subscription-based model for Creative Cloud faced initial resistance. However, they addressed customer concerns and objections by continuously improving the platform, leading to higher customer retention rates.
  • Spotify: Spotify uses personalized playlists and recommendations to engage users. By analyzing user data and preferences, they reduce churn by providing a tailored experience that keeps users coming back for more.

This last example shows how a company quite often has the data it needs to better … Click to continue reading

7 Secrets to Business Growth from Leading Global Brands

Whenever several people ask me to share my strategies for achieving business growth, it indicates that something significant is happening in the marketplace.

This is precisely what happened to me a few months ago. No less than two of my current clients and four new companies have asked me for support in growing their businesses in just the past month! In particular, they have all said that one or more of their brands is stable (to be polite) and that they want to reverse their (negative) trend.

Is this your situation, too? Did you also struggle to achieve growth this year? If so, I have a useful 7-step process that will bring you rapid change in 2024. (although if I were one of the self-proclaimed “gurus” we all see on social media these days, I probably would guarantee you results in days or weeks, shouldn’t I?!!)

I believe that one of the major issues in marketing these days is that companies are following an incomplete, outdated CX (customer experience) model.

 

The Need for a New CX Model

The CX Index states that 90% of businesses, regardless of the vertical they are operating in, have made CX their primary focus. And research by Gartner concluded that 80% of organizations expect to compete mainly based on CX.

This should be good news for customers, but there’s a problem.

Most discussions about customer experience only consider the interaction between the customer and the company. As a result, most effort goes into improving customer service departments and call centres.

Since these departments tend to be either smaller or even outsourced, their changes have little impact on how a business works. They are also of little interest to top management.

The customer journey is seen as linear and only impacts different departments at distinct points in time. Even if their emotions are considered at each touchpoint, which is already an improvement, it remains static.

In addition, information about the customer may be gathered, but it is rarely shared, let alone integrated, for deeper knowledge and understanding.

This has resulted in individual actions being taken without a holistic view of the customer or their experience. That is why so few succeed.

 

Quantum Customer CentricityQuantum Customer Centricity (QC2) takes a multi-dimensional view of the four moving parts of a customer-first strategy. It boosts business by leveraging your strengths while identifying the biggest opportunities for growth. It finds the small, key changes that will maximise your company’s benefit.

And these smaller atomic transformations are far more likely to succeed than larger ones.

QC2 is a breakthrough approach that integrates rather than replaces what you are already doing well, so progress is made faster and usually also considerably cheaper.

It creates greater agility, delivering more targeted and accelerated results than most of the traditional models typical to larger organizations.

If you’d like to learn more about QC² and what it can do for your business, you can download a free copy of the book “The Click to continue reading

The Little Known Disadvantages of a Customer-first Strategy

The business world has significantly shifted in recent years, and I, for one, am excited to see so many companies adopting a customer-first strategy.

However, like any strategy, a customer-first approach has pros and cons. Therefore I thought it would be helpful to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of a customer-first plan.

 

Advantages of a Customer-First Strategy

If you regularly read my posts, you will know that I’m passionate about companies adopting and improving their customer-first strategies. There is so much going for it, as I will explain below.

1. Improved Customer Satisfaction

One of the primary advantages of a customer-first strategy is that it leads to improved customer satisfaction. By placing the needs and desires of the customer at the centre of all business decisions, companies can create products and services that better meet their customers’ needs. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth advertising.

As an example of this, think about Amazon, which is well known for its customer-centric approach. They offer a wide range of products, fast and reliable delivery, and excellent customer service. As a result, they have a loyal customer base and a strong brand reputation.

2. Increased Sales

Another advantage of a customer-first strategy is that it can increase sales. When satisfied with a company’s products or services, customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend the company to others.

This then leads to increased revenue and profitability for the company. Research clearly shows that businesses that excel in customer experience grow more than three times faster than those that don’t.

A good example of excellence is Apple. They focus on creating products that are easy to use and meet the needs of their customers. As a result, they have a loyal customer base and have been able to increase sales consistently over time.

3. Improved Brand Reputation

A customer-first strategy can also lead to improved brand image. When a company consistently prioritizes the needs of its customers, it develops the reputation of a customer-focused organization. This can attract new customers, retain existing ones, and draw top talent.

Zappos is a good example of a company that has built its brand around customer service. They offer free shipping and returns, a 365-day return policy, and a dedicated customer service team available 24/7. As a result, they have a strong brand reputation and are known for putting their customers first. Zappos built a loyal customer base and a successful business by prioritising customer satisfaction, which resulted in it being acquired by Amazon in 2009 for $1.2 billion.

4. Better Decision-Making

By placing the customer at the centre of all business decisions, a customer-first strategy can lead to better decision-making. When companies are focused on meeting the needs of their customers, they are more likely to make decisions that align with their customers’ needs and desires. This can lead to better products, more efficient processes, and increased profitability.

Procter & Gamble is well known for focusing on

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