Turn unhappy customers into buying customers

Turn unhappy customers into buying customers

Dissatisfied customers are an interesting group that every web marketeer should take a great interest in because they represent a huge potential to grow your business. Here’s why…

Statistics show that for every complaining customer, there are at least 25 that don’t bother to complain.

And it gets worse. Its also been proven that all your dissatisfied customers will go on to tell eight to sixteen others what they think of you.

And those statistics pre-date today’s social networking tools.

Now it’s very easy for somebody to post on Twitter or Facebook how they feel about your business. In graphic, negative detail. And you may never know, and never have the opportunity to reply. The sales graph will just head downwards.

The key fact is it only takes a very small number of known dissatisfied customers to have a markedly negative effect on your business. So here’s what to do about it:

  • Make sure you know what people are saying about you. Use Google Alerts to trap every mention of your business. If dissatisfied customers are blogging or Twittering about you, reply. Say you care. Be specific about what you’ll do about it. And then do it, and tell everybody you’ve done it.
  • Make it easy for customers to proactively feed back what they think about you – make sure your ‘Contact’ details are always visible on your web site.
  • Keep a regular dialogue going with all your customers by email so you have ongoing communication.
  • Have a blog to keep everything open and public. Let your customers comment on it without moderation. Don’t try to bury bad news. Proactively manage it and use it as a platform to describe what you did to get to a resolution. Out of control negatives suddenly become under control positives.
  • Use online survey tools to ask your customers how they feel about your business. Don’t just ask the questions that’ll get the right answers, ask the questions that’ll get the wrong answers. You need to know the negative things people think and say about your business.
  • Where there is negative feeling, go the extra mile to get to a resolution. Even if it costs you a little. It’s much cheaper to deal with an existing customer than win a new one – so look on it as a marketing or pre-sales cost. You could always give them a discount off a future purchase.

Above all your existing customers are probably your biggest asset. The web makes it easy to keep in touch in ways and at times that are convenient for your customers.

Do all you can to facilitate open, honest communication and your business will prosper.