Customer loyalty is critical when running a business…
[Time to read: 3 minutes]
As the saying goes it costs more to find new customers than it does to look after your existing customers.
Your existing customers have invested in you and your business because they BELIEVE that you can offer them the right solution.
Being rewarded with their belief is a wonderful thing. They could have easily ordered from one of your competitors. This belief is the first step in the customer trusting you.
However, this is just the first step…
It’s so important to build more trust with your customer in order to have loyal customers.
Keeping in regular contact with your customer is an obvious step.
However, this step is sometimes overlooked – especially when things go wrong.
How to Keep Customers When Things go Wrong
If you’re supplying complex products or solutions to your customers, at some stage things may go wrong, such as:
- Product quality issues
- Service delivery issues
- System failure
- Late delivery
- Administration errors
However, it’s at this time that you MUST look after your customer.
You must do all you can to resolve the problem.
In the past I had to deal with product supply issues to my customers where the supply chain was complex. There were occasions when I could not fix the problem immediately.
I had done all I could to investigate the problem and find ‘workarounds’ and alternative solutions. But the customer was not happy. What should I do?
In my experience updating the customer regularly and being honest is one of the best ways forward.
Phoning the customer regularly (and sometimes EVERY DAY), to update them is key – even if there is no immediate solution in sight – the fact that they KNOW you are working on the problem is important.
The customer may still be upset, and they may say something to you that hurts, but if you ‘step up’ and take control of the situation by searching for solutions; update the customer regularly and be honest – this will go a long way to build customer trust in the future.
I’ve been on the brink of losing a customer in the past – but these actions saved me. It’s not pleasant to see your customer upset, but this is your time to prove that they were right in believing you when they placed their first order.
Customers do remember when things go wrong – but they also remember when you turnaround these problems and look after them.