I never really thought much about customer service until I started my working life. I was 22, just finished uni and landed a job with the national airline carrier Sabena. At the time I didn’t quite realise Sabena was actually a frontrunner in Belgium in terms of Customer Service. Who would have guessed? All new recruits followed a 3 months training program around customer service, the airline business etc. 3 Months training! Those were the good times.
One learning opened my mind:
A complaining customer is a returning customer.
Indeed. If you, as a customer, go through the pain of complaining – because let’s be honest, nobody (ok, give or take a few exceptions) likes to complain for the fun of it – it means you care. It means you’ll probably want to buy this service again and thus want the company to set things right.
Since that time this insight has been my guideline throughout my marketing career, but also in my private life. Before I had never experienced anyone, least of all my parents, to complain about a service or product that let them down. This was just not done. But I took it on board full-heartedly.
And the results have been disappointing. I can easily sum up a rits of bad customer experiences that happened to me over the course of the last year, but that would be a post in itself.
To find a few outstanding customer delighters.. quite a bit harder.
I wonder why. Really.
A complaining customer is an advertising opportunity.
Why do so few companies realise this? A happy customer is the best advertising a company or brand can wish. So why not try a bit harder to set things right where they have gone wrong, and make a disappointed customer a happy one?
I guarentee you that this last customer will triple the word-of-mouth effect.
I have even seen people spontaneously post positive WOM on their facebook pages.
A small investment for a big impact. What’s not to like?
So tell me, why do so few companies realise this?