timm chapter 9

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Chapter 9
Recover the Potentially Lost
Customer
The average company



Will lose half its customers every five years
Misses opportunities to aggressively recover
lost customers
Fails to do “defection interviews” with lost
customers (or employees)
Customer Service, 5e
Paul R. Timm
2
© 2011, 2008, 2005, 2001 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
The second life cycle of recovered
customers




Customer is already familiar with products and
services you offer
You have more data about customer’s likes and
dislikes
Customer may feel flattered by your attention
Customer will be re-acclimated to doing
business with you more quickly than a new
customer
Customer Service, 5e
Paul R. Timm
3
© 2011, 2008, 2005, 2001 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
Customer retention requires


Positive attitude toward problem solving
Seeing complaints as opportunities to create
stronger loyalty

But not necessarily a “customer is always right”
mentality
Customer Service, 5e
Paul R. Timm
4
© 2011, 2008, 2005, 2001 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
Key issue in customer disputes


NOT who is right or wrong, but rather
How all parties can cooperate to solve
customer’s concerns
Customer Service, 5e
Paul R. Timm
5
© 2011, 2008, 2005, 2001 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
Key skills in recovery



Feel the customer’s pain (empathize)
Do all possible to resolve problems
Offer “symbolic atonement”
Customer Service, 5e
Paul R. Timm
6
© 2011, 2008, 2005, 2001 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
Handling the chronic complainer


Be sure they are “chronic” (these are actually
rare)
Know what to do:





Listen actively
Establish the facts
Avoid apologizing
Ask complainer to propose solution
Take a break; cool off
Customer Service, 5e
Paul R. Timm
7
© 2011, 2008, 2005, 2001 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
Attitude is critical


Abrasiveness is counterproductive
Assertiveness is better for problem resolution

“assertive” means being pleasantly direct
Customer Service, 5e
Paul R. Timm
8
© 2011, 2008, 2005, 2001 Pearson Higher Education,
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. • All Rights Reserved.
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