How to turn customer complaints into $$$?

10 09 2007

Your probrably asking yourself if that is really possible? I have to tell you some of the greatest fortunes ever created in business were because of this very concept. I marvel when reading of business successes that were either mistakes or came from places that the owner would have never expected. I love to see how you really never know when you go into business what the final result is going to be.

Now the first thing you need to do is to understand why this works so well then i’ll explain how amazingly simple it it to do (and its absolutely FREE). The reasons why are limitless as you will find. Lets start with this many business owner got into business because they wanted to solve a problem. When they got into business they found at many time like they where surrounded by many new problems (aahhh the struggles of the start up business). For somebody else those challenges you had will be somebody else’s business story. One of the challenges that every single business person is bound to run into is customer complaints.It how you handle these complaints or don’t that will determine the outcome of business.

Here is why simply what people are saying about you business to others is much more powerful than any marketing or advertising you may be doing. Now as painful as it may be at times you really do want to do everything in your power that if people don’t like your business or anything related to it (employees, products, or call wait times you know that this list is endless) You want to be the very first person they talk to. If they talk to a friend first you may have just lost a customer you never realize you had. So rule #1 is to do absolutely everything is your power to create open communication from your customers for any reason. Heck design a call hotline that when then call about their experiences you give them a code for free stuff( most fast food places do this look on the back of the reciepts to find out how)

BUSINESS TRUTH– people who complain care about you and your business if they didn’t they would just go somewhere else and you would never know.

1.Change your mindset from problems to presents (when you unwrap them you can make the business stronger better faster and more profitable)

2.Creating an inviting enviroment for the customer to let you know how they have been letdown by your by your products or services

3. Following up with the customer post sale to find out if they are happy or not(if you find a problem early before the customer can complain you can help the situation if you wait for the customer to say something alot of times its too late)

4 Writing down all customer complaints, ideas and reasons for returns.

5.On a montly basis go over all of them ask yourself two questions —how can I alleviate this concern for future customers? and Is there a way that I can create a solution that brings me extra income?

6. Share with others for feedback and do step 5 as often as possible (you’ll be surprised at things that you havent been able to solve suddenly have an incredible solution –repetition is the mother of all learning.

Often times a couple of customers that have the same challenges that aren’t simple fixes lead to a great new profit road.

Here is an example of how a fortune 500 company used this. IBM used to be primarily a hardware company –mainframes, servers, desktops and then some pretty complex software but they never provided adequate training for how to use it all. After losing their tails in the information age they righted the ship by LISTENING to the primary reason why customers left them. Now they are one of the largest consultants to fortune 500 companies and their revenue is being created by thier knowledge instead of tied up in all those systems. Not only did that save the company but it also brought them back to profitablity. ALL FROM FOCUSING ON WHAT THEY WHERE DOING WRONG AND TURNING IT INTO SOLUTIONS.

So take your ego out of the question and when you get a complaint or return don’t just that’s part of doing business REALLY look at the reasons why your customers are bringing this to your attention. Ask them one very powerful question “What could I do that would make this situation right for you?” You may get just give me a refund or they may end up telling you something you never realized.May there is a competitor you don’t realize is in town yet that is undercutting your price or may thay can’t stand how long they wait on hold. you’ll never know unless you ask. Remember customers want to help you to become more successful.

All you have to do is ask them— What is it going to make them happy ?




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