Saturday, January 29, 2011

Accentuate the Positive Customer Feedback

If you resolve a customer’s complaint well, the customer is likely to become even more loyal than they would have been if they’d never had a complaint. They develop gratitude for the high quality resolution and often a bit of guilt for making a fuss. Researchers at Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy found that as this guilt about complaints develops, the customer’s amount of future complaining and negative word of mouth dip.
     But research at University of Virginia indicates that if a customer suffers the same type of problem again at your store, repurchase probabilities drop sharply. The customer might not even bother returning to complain, instead just shifting their business elsewhere. This means you might not be aware why you’ve lost the business. What makes it even worse is that this customer will start telling others about their bad experiences.
     Your prospective customers—the ones who haven’t ever shopped with you, yet might be interested—tend to place more emphasis on criticism of your business than on praise. To the prospective customer, negative information is diagnostic. People hear praise so often from advertising and from customers who are wanting to convince themselves that whichever store they went to had to be the best. It’s the negatives which help narrow the choices.
     You don’t want your store cut out of consideration. Therefore, place extra emphasis on gathering and reporting the positives. One company currently following that advice is Avis Rent A Car. Nearly fifty years ago, Avis Rent A Car System unveiled a series of ads the trade journal Advertising Age later called one of the top ten campaigns of the 20th century. The theme of the ads: “We’re number 2 in rent a cars behind Hertz, so we try harder.”
     Now in a new campaign, Avis will be bragging via broadcast ads, cable TV ads, print, social networking media, and the company website about all the praise customers have for the try-harder underdog.
     You could be another retailer who accentuates positive customer feedback. Whenever you think you’ve resolved a complaint, ask the customer, “Are you fully satisfied?” If they reply that they are, ask for a testimonial you can cite. If they say they are not fully satisfied, see what you can do to change it to yes. Then once you get to yes, ask for that testimonial. Next, publicize the praise.

Click below for more:
Go for Customer Gratitude and Guilt
Boast About Underdog Determination
Get Second Chance for Good Impression
Use Dissatisfaction as a Selling Opportunity

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