When building a digital brand, customer service is- everything. Too often, people view customers as objects rather than humans who, intentionally or not, are supporting YOUR dream. It’s important to reshape your perception and deal kindly because even the slightest negative interaction can turn into a review with the potential to destroy your business. This was emphasized in a recent customer exchange where, through the following steps, I turned a customer complaint into public praise. Empathy The most basic human need is to be understood. This is a valuable lesson for all aspects of sales (and life) but rings especially true when managing a customer complaint. Let’s take a moment to understand this customer. She put in the work of perusing your menu, placing an order and now, even took the time to write an email. Now, your job is to empathize and validate their experience. How do you do that? Firstly, confirm the facts, and if the process went awry, don’t shy away from taking full responsibility and acknowledging the mistake. In fact, saying you’re wrong is often the most powerful thing you can do because it lower the customer’s defenses enough to trust you again.
Vision It’s not, “we mess up sometimes and sorry this happened to you,” but rather, “we are working diligently every day to give our customers a better experience and apologize for the delay.” The latter helps contextualize your error in a positive light. Why is a customer complaint the perfect time to win over a new supporter? If you think about it, as soon as the customer writes an impassioned email, they automatically become more invested in the company. Think how many times she wrote the word mozzarella sticks or referenced a menu item. Sure, it wasn’t complimentary, but the mere act of addressing you cemented our business as more than a random store on seamless. This presents a golden opportunity to redirect the passionate anger into passionate support as displayed below. Value This might be my favorite, because if done right, it feels as wholesome as paying for the person behind you on a starbucks line. You can offer free shipping, future discount code or a no strings venmo (which if you tried the buffalo stix is barely a consolation). Pro Tip: Include all information in one response. Nothing says unprofessional like tacking on value in a follow up email. If you need to confirm with the boss or packaging didn’t respond with a return label, make the phone call now. You don’t want to take up more of the customer’s time. Word of mouth is and always will be the best sales strategy. No matter what business you’re in, be kind to customers, because they do the best selling.
Big Stick Willy’s is leading the way in the ghost kitchen world generating over 400 orders, 70 four-star reviews and amassing close to 2,000 IG followers in just 90 days.
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Speak to you soon, Will Reynolds Owner/Founder - Big Stick Willy’s EST Post-Covid 2020 | NYC