Successfully Dealing with Unhappy Customers<br />Mark K. Gonzalez<br />
Why we have unhappy customers <br />Unmet customer expectations<br />Sales<br />We didn’t know the customer well enough to...
Why we have unhappy customers <br />Unmet customer expectations(Cont.)<br />The product doesn’t perform as “advertised”<br...
Why we have unhappy customers <br />Unmet customer expectations (Cont.)<br />Services<br />Installation <br />Not done in ...
Or a combination of all of the above<br />The wrong product <br />in the wrong <br />environment<br />Call Poorly handled<...
Net Result?<br />A very unhappy customer who has lost all confidence in not only the quality of our products but also in o...
Now what do you do?<br />Handle it well and you have a very high probability of saving the customer relationship.<br />Han...
What to do?<br />Just Follow the Gameplan Step by Step<br />
First of all, don’t panic.Just as when you go to the emergency room as a patient you want to sense that the doctor knows w...
Second, prior to speaking with the customer<br />Be sure of your facts.<br />What happened?<br />What was the customer exp...
Third,Start the Call/Meeting:<br />Introduce everyone on the call. <br />The person doing the introduction should be someo...
The person running with the ball describes their role within the company. If it’s me, I typically say that I’m the Preside...
Let the customer speak uninterrupted for about 5 minutes. Do not interrupt him/her unless it’s to ask a clarifying questio...
Second, recap for them the issues as they’ve outlined them. This is very important. It shows you were listening and you un...
Fifth, explain to them what the get well plan is. Outline the next steps, when they will take place and who specifically w...
Sixth, ask for their acknowledgement that this plan makes sense to them? It is important that they buy into the plan.<br /...
Nine, close out the call:<br />By reinforcing their importance to the company. <br />That you understand that we need to g...
That’s it!Pretty Easy huh?It is if you follow this process faithfully.<br />
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Successfully dealing with unhappy customers v3

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step by step process for successfully dealing with difficult customer satisfaction issues. (btw the priciples also work for personal relationship issues)

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Transcript of "Successfully dealing with unhappy customers v3"

  1. 1. Successfully Dealing with Unhappy Customers<br />Mark K. Gonzalez<br />
  2. 2. Why we have unhappy customers <br />Unmet customer expectations<br />Sales<br />We didn’t know the customer well enough to know what the customer needed.<br />We didn’t listen to what the customer said that they needed.<br />We allowed ourselves to be overly influenced by the customer’s budget.<br />We allowed ourselves to be overly influenced by what the competition was proposing. (reactive vs. proactive).<br />Negligence<br />
  3. 3. Why we have unhappy customers <br />Unmet customer expectations(Cont.)<br />The product doesn’t perform as “advertised”<br />Quality<br />Functionality<br />Availability<br />Performance<br />
  4. 4. Why we have unhappy customers <br />Unmet customer expectations (Cont.)<br />Services<br />Installation <br />Not done in a timely manner.<br />Not done in a competent manner.<br />Post Installation<br />Phone home didn’t work properly.<br />Customer call poorly handled.<br />What is that?<br />Mis-routed.<br />Inflexible.<br />Engineer doesn’t show up in timely manner.<br />Poorly trained engineer shows up.<br />Human error<br />Spare part not readily available locally.<br />Spare part DOA or wrong firmware.<br />Customer issue not escalated quickly enough.<br />
  5. 5. Or a combination of all of the above<br />The wrong product <br />in the wrong <br />environment<br />Call Poorly handled<br />Or not escalated promptly<br />Product fails<br />Miss-installed<br />Firmware <br />out of date<br />Product transition<br />The Result?<br />The <br />Perfect <br />Storm<br />
  6. 6. Net Result?<br />A very unhappy customer who has lost all confidence in not only the quality of our products but also in our ability to support their environment.<br />
  7. 7. Now what do you do?<br />Handle it well and you have a very high probability of saving the customer relationship.<br />Handle it poorly and odds are you will: <br />either lose the customer altogether <br />or at the very least you will lose customer’s loyalty.<br />
  8. 8. What to do?<br />Just Follow the Gameplan Step by Step<br />
  9. 9. First of all, don’t panic.Just as when you go to the emergency room as a patient you want to sense that the doctor knows what to do, the customer wants to be reassured that they’re dealing with someone who knows what they’re doing.<br />
  10. 10. Second, prior to speaking with the customer<br />Be sure of your facts.<br />What happened?<br />What was the customer experience?<br />What did we do right/wrong?<br />What is the customer unhappy about?<br />Do we have root cause for what happened?<br />Have a pre-call with the account team to lay out the game plan.<br />Who will start the call? <br />Who will introduce the participants?<br />What will each person’s role be on the call?<br />In what order will they speak?<br />Who will speak and who will be quiet?<br />What will be our gameplan for resolving the customer’s problem?<br />Who will close the call?<br />
  11. 11. Third,Start the Call/Meeting:<br />Introduce everyone on the call. <br />The person doing the introduction should be someone who either has been working with the customer through the escalation process or the account manager. Someone who knows the customer.<br /> Begin by introducing the customers on the line or in the meeting. Get their names and titles right. Don’t guess. Get it right.<br />Introduce our folks on the call. <br />End up by introducing last the person who will be running with the ball. (In most cases, if I’m on the call, that would be me.)<br />
  12. 12. The person running with the ball describes their role within the company. If it’s me, I typically say that I’m the President of ______ and that as such I’m also responsible for customer satisfaction. I then tell them a little bit about myself. 1-2 min. no more. The call is not about me, it’s about them – I’m just presenting my credentials as being able to solve their problem.<br />I then ask the Senior most person on the customer side to describe the issue that they experienced. This is probably the most important step of the entire call. Even though you already know everything that has transpired it is important that the customer be able to tell you, in their own words, what they’ve experienced and how they feel about it. If you skip this step, your odds of success go below 50%.<br />
  13. 13. Let the customer speak uninterrupted for about 5 minutes. Do not interrupt him/her unless it’s to ask a clarifying question. Under no circumstance should you begin your defense at this point. Let them get the frustration out of their system.<br />Once they’ve had a chance to tell you how they feel about the situation for about 5 min, it is your turn to respond. (Don’t let the first phase drag on for 20 min. or you’ll lose control of the call. 5 minutes is about right.)<br />First of all, acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. Verbally recognize that this outage, or how we’ve responded to this outage, has been very frustrating to them and that it has put them in a difficult situation. <br />
  14. 14. Second, recap for them the issues as they’ve outlined them. This is very important. It shows you were listening and you understand their pain points.<br />Third, tell them that you have a very large installed base of customers who are successfully using their particular product so their experience is outside the norm. For example, “Today we have an installed base of over 20,000 ______. Our measured uptime with this product, after over 160 million hours of runtime, is 99.996% so your experience is very much out of the ordinary.<br />Fourth, tell them that we are just as interested as they are in getting to the bottom of what went wrong here and addressing it because you want them to be a satisfied customer.<br />
  15. 15. Fifth, explain to them what the get well plan is. Outline the next steps, when they will take place and who specifically will take ownership of them. Time is of the essence at this point, to show that you’re taking their concerns seriously so get the cavalry on site very quickly. Eg. “We’re going to do a site assessment to make sure that we thoroughly understand all of the variables involved in this situation and we will put together a formal get well plan that we’re going to present to you. Joe Schmoe will be flying in on Tuesday to your site. Joe is one of our very best engineers. Who should we coordinate his activities with on your end? I am confident that he will be able to get everything squared away for us.” (You’d better make sure that Joe Schmoe is real good because we have one shot at retaining the customer’s confidence at this point.)<br />If we’ve already done the site assessment and we’re presenting our findings then we need to tell them how we’re going to resolve the situation. Eg. “We’re going to put a second ____ at your site on loan for a period of time so that you can run in a high availability mode until you feel confident that your environment is stable etc.” <br />
  16. 16. Sixth, ask for their acknowledgement that this plan makes sense to them? It is important that they buy into the plan.<br />Seventh, once you’ve presented the plan, on the call you then tell them when you will be touching base with them again to make sure that they’re satisfied with the progress that we’re making. “I want to call you on Th. to make sure that you feel that we’re making the progress that we should be making.”Give them your phone number. That way they feel that you’re not “hiding” and that you’re reachable should they need you.<br />Eight, I usually tell them at this point that once this is over I’d like to schedule some time to meet with them in person to get to know them better.<br />
  17. 17. Nine, close out the call:<br />By reinforcing their importance to the company. <br />That you understand that we need to go a ways to restore their trust in us. <br />Reinforce that you’re confident that the gameplan that we’re putting in place will resolve the situation to their satisfaction.<br />Thank them for the trust that they’ve placed in us throughout the years.<br />Ten, follow through on every commitment that you’ve made and close the loop with them at the end to make sure that we’ve done everything that we said that we’d do.<br />
  18. 18. That’s it!Pretty Easy huh?It is if you follow this process faithfully.<br />
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