By Kevin Meyer
Most people fear receiving complaints about their product or service. But as Amy at Another Wine Blog suggests, a complaint can be an opportunity.
asking if there was something else she might need. Turns out she was
taking her teenage daughter on a cruise, and she needed lots
of things. And to make a long story short, what started as a $20
return, ended up being an $880 sale, and a repeat client. Why? Because
I listened to what she was saying, and turned a complaint into an
opportunity, a “gift.”
If one person complains, it's likely that several times that number are also experiencing the same problem but choose not to say anything. And sometimes the solution to the immediate problem is simple, at least in the mind of the customer you are hopefully trying to retain.
This doesn’t just apply to sales, but also how to handle negative
product reviews, concerns about value, shipping issues and website
glitches. A positive response can bring you a bounty of goodwill and
word-of-mouth marketing. A negative response, and you not only lose a
customer, but risk that one complaint turning into a viral
word-of-mouth marketing “campaign” that only benefits your competitor.
Amy goes on to describe three experiences with three different wineries, and how their response to a problem created a long-term perception. The moral?
Joe used to work with a woman named Julie who was fabulous at customer
service. The running joke was how she felt (and sounded to the other
AEs) when she was dealing with complaints; “Why yes, it is
all my fault. I’m terribly sorry; how can I fix it?” But customers
loved her. She was the positive face of the company. She made things
right, and retained the customer. Because she treated every complaint
as an opportunity — a gift. Even when she had nothing whatsoever to do
with the error in the first place.
Embrace complaints… but do something about them to make the customer happy.