Winning over unhappy customers: How to turn negative experiences into positive outcomes

Winning over unhappy customers: How to turn negative experiences into positive outcomes

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Winning over unhappy customers: How to turn negative experiences into positive outcomes

How to stay ahead of customer problems

Customers hold great power. When they’re pleased, they can serve as your greatest evangelists. But when they have a bone to pick with your product or service, they’re going to tell their friends, their families, and maybe stop spending their money with you altogether. Add the megaphone created by social media and other online platforms into the mix, and customers with an axe to grind can cause real damage.

There are plenty of cranky customers out there these days, too. According to the Wall street Journal, Americans are encountering more problems with companies’ products and services than ever before, and they are increasingly taking action (both in person and online) to get back at the offending companies.

So how do you keep your actual and perceived shortcomings from affecting your brand’s reputation and bottom line? Let’s talk about a few ways you can use a customer experience (CX) program to stay ahead of customer problems.

Keep up with the online conversation

Social media allows brands large and small to engage with customers and showcase what they’re all about. But when an unhappy customer turns the tables by using social media to complain, others—often complete strangers—may feel empowered to chime in and add fuel to the fire. The same goes for ratings and review sites.

To manage these conversations, it’s important to have tools that help you monitor and respond to customer feedback at scale. Your CX program should allow you to track what customers are saying about you in real-time, allowing you to respond quickly and appropriately. You’ll also be able to identify patterns in customer complaints to help develop opportunities for improvement.

Help your teams close the loop—fast

82% of customers reported that having their issues responded to quickly is the number one factor of a great customer experience. So it behooves any brand to become highly efficient at responding to and solving customer issues—from cold food received at the pick-up window to having the wrong product shipped to your home … and everything in between.

By equipping your team with the right case management tools and training, you’ll be able to track the status of customer issues, assign them to the appropriate team member, and monitor progress towards resolution—all within a centralized, multi-source platform.

Follow up on the follow up

Following up with customers after an issue has been resolved can go a long way toward building customer loyalty. In fact, 84% of customers who are highly satisfied with their problem resolution express a high likelihood to return to the business where the issue occurred. So it makes all the sense in the world to make sure the job is done right.

When doing so, don’t forget to address any additional concerns they may have and thank them again for their business. You want to build stronger, lasting relationships, right? (Right!) Then don’t skimp on that extra step of following up on the follow up.

Collaborate with your XM partner on a problem resolution strategy

The easiest way to fend off cranky customers is to prevent problems before they happen. But, you know, easier said than done—which is why it’s so important to work with an experience management (XM) partner on a problem resolution strategy. A software with a service (SwaS) XM partner will be able to provide valuable insights into customer feedback, help you develop strategies to address customer concerns, and track progress towards resolution.

Hertz took advantage of SMG’s maturity assessment and 3-year success planning consultations included in the Advanced and Elite service tiers, ultimately identifying problem resolution as a big opportunity to improve customer experiences with Hertz. We helped:

  • Create a company-wide goal and mission around service recovery
  • Create and automate a playbook for resolving cases to increase speed of resolution
  • Create a communication plan for implementation, consisting of one-pagers, splash pages, a video from Hertz’s EVP of CX, and even a targeted “problem resolution” dashboard in the core CX platform to improve visibility and focus

Want to learn more ways to minimize and even reverse customer crankiness? Request a demo.