Recovering the Lost Customer Why try to recover a potentially lost customer? Studies show that recovered customers will give a company more business than new customers If you win the customer back they have a second life with your organization, this is a new start that you can build on as a company ◦ The recovered customer is already familiar with your business ◦ You are likely to have more data about the customers likes and dislikes so you can appeal to the customer’s needs ◦ The customer may feel flattered that you have tried to win them back, so they will become even more loyal as a customer or use more company services How to recover a lost customer Feel the customer’s pain—do all that you can do to quickly resolve the problem Recognize that customers are more than likely angry or frustrated and they would like you to do any of the following ◦ Listen to them and take them seriously ◦ Understand their problem and why they are upset ◦ Share their sense of urgency ◦ Compensate them or provide them with compensation ◦ Eliminate further inconvenience ◦ Treat them with respect and empathy ◦ Assure them that this will not happen to them or others again You may not be able to do all of the above but typically the upset customer requires one or several of the above strategies Symbolic Atonement Offer the customer Symbolic Atonement ◦ SYMBOLIC ATONEMENT means giving the customer something to make up for the problem they have had It may not compensate for the damage done but symbolically it indicates that the company is trying to appease the customer and win them back What are some ways you would be able to appease a healthcare customer..what could you give them to right a wrong done? ◦ Parking fees ◦ Sincerely apology ◦ Give the gift of a free service, free merchandise if merchandise is available at the healthcare facility Different Types of complaining customers There are Five (5) types of complaining customers. Each is motivated by different needs, attitudes and beliefs The meek customer ◦ Generally will not complain The aggressive customer ◦ Complains loudly and at length The high-roller customer ◦ Expects the best and is willing to pay for it. ◦ Complains in a reasonable manner, unless they are like the aggressive customer The rip-off customer ◦ Goal—not to get the complaint satisfied, but rather to win by getting something the customer is Not entitled to receive. Constant and repetitive ‘not good enough’ response to efforts to satisfy this customer is an indicator of a rip-off artist The chronic complainer ◦ Is never satisfied, there is always something wrong ◦ The customers mission is to whine, Yet they are a customer and cannot be dismissed Use Receiver Centered Messages to respond to the customer A receiver centered message is a message that is phrased in terms of the other person’s viewpoint. ◦ Being receiver centered conscious you would –make sure that the tone of the conversation, letter, or email, reflects a sincere interest in the other person, the message would cater to the other person’s wants and needs When you use receiver centered messages you convey an interest in the other person this interest will hopefully translate in the customers mind into caring and concern from the company Use Positive Language-Don’t be abrasive PEOPLE WANT POSITIVE INFORMATION which is conveyed by positive language Positive language conveys more information than negative language—employees should focus on the positive, what is or what they can do Positive language has a pleasant ring to the ear Abrasiveness definition—an irritating manner or tone that sounds pushy or critical ◦ Abrasive individuals express their opinions in a somewhat threatening way ◦ If you are abrasive when dealing with customers, soften the tone of your communications ◦ There is a difference between being abrasive and assertive Assertive behavior means—you express your opinions and feelings in a non-threatening way ◦ People do not usually get offended by an assertive individual Using the Hostility Curve to resolve hostile situations Consider the following steps that will guide you through the Hostility Curve (page 146 in your textbook) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Most people are usually reasonable. They function at a rational level. At this level, you can reason with them about things. When irritations pile up about a specific incident that rational person may become irrational, possibly becoming abusive, and expressing a lot of hostility. Once the person leaves their rational level there is no sense in trying to get the person to be reasonable. This stage of being unreasonable cannot last forever. Eventually the unreasonable person runs out of steam. They may feel embarrassed for making a scene. At this stage you can be supportive, let the other person know that you understand their feelings. You may say something such as, ‘I know this has been an upsetting experience for you’ Your supportive comments will help the hostile person cool off or at least come down to a rational level. Once the person has come down to a rational level you can start to try to problem solve and work out the situation, maybe first trying to find out what caused the anger. How you can learn from difficult situations with customers? To positively learn from a situation with a customer, ask yourself the following questions 1. 2. 3. 4. What was the nature of the complaint? Was it generated by value, system or people turnoff? How did the customer see the problem? What was to blame? What irritated the customer most? Why were they angry/frustrated? How did I see the problem? What did you sat that seemed to aggravate the situation? What to do if the customer is still not satisfied? Professionalism requires us to do everything possible not to let our frustrations out on customers ◦ DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY ◦ If you have tried your best to satisfy the customer, then you have done all that you can do ◦ Don’t rehash the experience with your coworkers or in your own mind. If it is over it is over. Rehashing the situation will not change it.