Thursday, March 3, 2011

Keep your friends close

Everyone hates a whiner. You don’t do this, you didn’t do that. Why can’t they just be quiet? Many of them do, and you never hear from them again. I call these ex customers.

There is one primary reason people complain, they want you to know they are not happy. Why they are unhappy is not that important. That fact that they are telling you is. Why? They care. If they didn’t care they wouldn’t open their mouths except to call the competition.

Every complaint is an opportunity. An opportunity to make customer relationships fireproof. How? Like any relationship, the more troubled water you get over, the stronger it is. Step one, listen. Step two, acknowledge. Step three, ask. Step four, resolve.

Listen to their complaint with love in your heart, don’t have an attitude.
Acknowledge what they said, make sure you heard the real issue.
Ask what you can do to resolve this issue. Often it is less than you would offer to do.
Resolve the issue. Reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Following this process, you will be able to make difficult customers raving fans. So while it is easy to keep your friends close, it is more important to keep your whiners closer.

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