Keeping the customer satisfied


UK customers are more likely to complain about poor service than customers anywhere else in Europe.  A study of 11,000 adults across Europe found that 96% of people in the UK would complain if they were unhappy with the service they received.   This compares with the European average of just 67%.

The study, by Kelkoo, found that poor customer service, rude employees, poor quality products and delivery issues were the main reasons for complaints in the UK.  Gone are the days when we would ‘put up and shut up’.  Today’s customers know their rights, they are better informed and have more choice.  And in a highly competitive environment, it is far easier for customers to take their business elsewhere if they are dissatisfied with the service they receive.

So the business imperative for good customer service is clear.   Treat your customers badly and they will complain.  Deal with their complaints badly and they will leave you.  Worse, they will tell others about their bad experience.  

But there’s a positive side to all of this.  First, it’s not hard to get customer service right.  With some investment in recruitment and training, and with committed leadership from the top, you can create the culture, attitudes and behaviours required to deliver great customer service.  Second, all customer feedback (even complaints) is valuable and can be used to inform the development and improvement of your services.  Third, an unhappy customer can be turned into a happy and loyal customer if their complaint is dealt with properly.

I worked with a company recently where most customer contact was by phone or email.   Dealing with demanding, unhappy, confused and angry customers was the responsibility of a busy call centre staffed by a young enthusiastic team.  The team were patient and polite to callers but lacked some of the basic tools and techniques to really delight their customers.  I put together some top tips for this team.   Feel free to download these tips and pass them on to others.  Top Ten Tips for keeping customers happy

In today’s complaining culture it’s unrealistic to aim for 100% customer satisfaction.  But making even the most difficult customers happy is not an unreasonable goal.

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