Entrepreneur Articles

Dealing With Customers Who Are Never Satisfied

If you have been in business any length of time, you have had a customer leave to your competitors. Let’s face it, we’re all human, and if we think we have the market cornered, we are sadly mistaken.

If you are like me, you value and protect your company’s reputation. The most qualified leads that we receive as business owners are leads referred to us by satisfied customers. Ray Kroc, the man that turn McDonalds into the success it is today said, “Look after the customer and the business will take care of itself.” This simply means, make customer satisfaction the number one priority. If you do this as a business owner, you will always have a phone that rings with people interested in your products and services.

Even though you do your best to ensure customer satisfaction, there will be some customers that feel they aren’t being taken care of. Sometimes the products and services aren’t the right fit for the customer, sometimes it’s an issue of money and sometimes the customer just isn’t satisfied.

3% of all customers will never be satisfied. These are the customers who complain about everything, regardless of the lengths your team goes to ensure customer service excellence, they are never pleased and are always looking for someone to blame. These are the customers you refer to your competitors.

Joking aside, if the customer decides to leave your company, what do you do?

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
— Dale Carnegie
When a customer decides to pack up and leave to another company, my initial reaction is to defend my brand. You have probably heard the cliche “the customer is always right”, and well, it really doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. What matters is customer service and how the customer feels after doing business with your company. If we get into an argument, defending our products and services, even though we may be “right”, we will not win the heart of the customer.

The best response to an unsatisfied customer who has decided to leave, is to treat them in the same manner you treat your best customer, after all, that is how all customers should be treated.

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I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
— Maya Angelou
Regardless of the reason that a customer no longer needs your services, burning that bridge with harsh words or actions will tarnish your reputation and any future business.

“Well, maybe I don’t ever want to do business with that customer again” someone will say.

Though that may be true, and if the customer does return at a later date, you have the right to refuse service. BUT, if they are treated poorly upon exit, word of poor service will spread. Customers who have had a positive customer service experience will tell nine people, but if they receive poor service, they will tell 16 people!

In September 2015, Volkswagen came under fire for intentionally activating certain emission controls on their turbo charged diesel engines ONLY during laboratory testing in order to pass US standards. After testing was complete, in regular, real-world driving, the emissions increased to emit up to 40 times more nitrous oxide (N0x).

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.
— Warren Buffett
As news spread in the days following, Volkswagen’s stock fell by a third and their CEO resigned. This is an example of how cutting corners and deceiving customers can cost a company more than their reputation. In fact, Volkswagen came forward with a plan to spend $7.3 billion to rectify the problem by recalling and retrofitting the more than eleven million vehicles affected by the emissions programming.

As you can see from the case of Volkswagen, a company’s reputation is very important and be ruined overnight. Have a story or tip that you have used to offer customer service excellence? We’d love to hear it. Please comment below.

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The Author

Ryan Boutin

Ryan Boutin

Entrepreneur and Marketer, Ryan is driven by a passion to help people grow their business. As CEO of Zeal Media Inc, a web development and marketing firm located in Saskatoon, Canada, Ryan's mission is simple; Implement custom strategies to launch small businesses to drastic growth. With a vision to reach more people, InspireCast was born.

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