May 12 2010

Accelerating Arguments . . .

“When Push

                                        

Comes To Shove,”

                                            

Keep Customers

                                             

Out Of The Way!

                                                                            

     Protecting your customer base at all costs needs to be Priority One. When people have purchased your products or services in good faith, they are putting their confidence in you and the business you own , manage, or represent. If you screw up that relationship and lose their trust, you have lost a great deal more than a customer or two.

     Long-time idol of mine, Roy H. Williams, Chief Guru of Roy H. Williams Marketing, Inc., and author of what may arguably be the best two essay collections ever written on the spirit of advertising in the universe of American business. The two book set. The Wizard of Ads and Secret Formulas of The Wizard of Ads were published in 1998 and 1999 respectively by Bard Press, Austin, Texas. 

     In his Secret Formulas collection, Williams quotes study findings from Technical Assistance Research Programs of Washington, DC, that you should know about. Chew on these highlights for a couple of minutes:

  • For every customer who complains, 26 more will not.
  • Each of these 27 unhappy customers will tell 16 others about their bad experience.
  • Do the math: Every negative complaint you hear represents 432 negative impressions.
  • By the time you hear a particular complaint 3 times, the problem has been mentioned to 1,296 people.
  • It costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it costs to keep an old one.
  • 91% of your unhappy customers will never buy from you again.
  • But a focused effort to remedy complaints will get 82% to stay with you.

     Williams concludes this 2-page revelation with the three questions  to ask unhappy customers (calmly, genuinely, and without a defensive attitude) that he says (and I agree) “will bail you out every time”:

  1. WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
  2. WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED?
  3. WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE IT RIGHT?

     I might add that the best customer service businesses are those businesses without customer service departments and personnel. When all (every single) employees are trained to put themselves in the customer’s shoes, there should never be a need for the expense and excess baggage that a customer service group tends to burden a business with.

     Bottom line: When you accelerate arguments and draw customers onto a battlefield, you lose. Even if you win, you lose. Can your business afford all the negativity attached to your or your staff members’ short fuses? A little stress management works wonders and keeps customers coming back.

Comment below or Hal@BusinessWorks.US 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! God Bless America, and God Bless our troops “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]  Make today a GREAT Day! 

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