Customer Experience News & Trends

When customers complain …

Football coaches have a saying: “When a quarterback throws a pass, three things can happen – and two of them are bad.” When customers aren’t happy, whether it’s because the product doesn’t work, they were oversold, or service was poor, three things can happen – and two of them are bad. Share these possibilities with your salespeople:

1. The customer suffers in silence. Not good. The next time the customer is asked to purchase the product or service, he or she will have a negative attitude from the start.

2. The customer switches in silence. Not good either. The salesperson knows only that the customer switched and has no idea on how to get the account back.

3. The customer talks to the salesperson and explains the reason for the unhappiness. Communication is the best possible outcome for the customer and the salesperson. It gives the salesperson the chance to resolve the problem and keep the customer.

The best salespeople encourage customer communication and treat the underlying problems, building a permanent bridge between the company and the customer.

Rather than waiting for dissatisfied customers to get in touch, they actively seek them out. They pinpoint the reasons for their unhappiness and fix the problems so they don’t recur.

Building bridges provides the salesperson with measurable objectives, such as:

• Ensuring that unvoiced customer dissatisfaction is as low as possible

• Satisfying customers individually by providing assistance and guidance as appropriate, and

• Determining the causes of recurring complaints and recognizing customers’ needs that aren’t being addressed.

Adapted from The New Science Of Selling and Persuasion by William T. Brooks. (Wiley). He is founder and CEO of The Brooks Group, a sales training and research firm based in Greensboro, NC.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.