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Reduce The Pain Of Unfulfilled Customer Expectations

THE VALUE OF SOMETHING TANGIBLE. A surprising experience with BrainBox, presents a great example of getting personal with a customer even when you make a mistake. [Debbie Weil's Blog]

BrainBox turned a late delivery into something memorable to Debbie Weil, publisher of WordBiz Report. When you don't deliver what your customer expects there are a couple of things you can do to make it less painful for them:

  1. In Debbie Weil's situation, BrainBox knew to include small gifts and a personal hand-written apology for the late shipment. Including something personally physical (even for digital products or services) can connect the positive feeling of an apology with a tangible object. It provides proof you're sorry for your mistake.
  2. Avoid making excuses. Excuses add insult to injury, your customer is let down by you not meeting their expectations, no excuse will resolve the situation. Instead address the problem directly, apologize, and then correct the situation quickly.
  3. If what you provided isn't what the customer wanted, ask questions that verify their exact desires. It is possible the customer changed their mind from the time an order was placed and the delivery. Also check the contents against any contractual agreements or delivery orders to make sure you didn't make another mistake.
  4. Before your customer orders, make sure marketing is setting up the same expectations as sales and support. If one department sets expectations higher than another can delivery, you'll set yourself up for failure before you even start. These groups must work together to provide consistency.
  5. Accept the blame for the mistake. It is easier to say your sorry than to place blame on others. If at all, you are responsible because you didn't anticipate another parties mistake. Concentrate on making things right for the customer instead of placing blame.

/ customer-service | interaction-points /

By Justin Hitt at July 17, 2003 11:28 PM  Subscribe in a reader


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» Set Expectations Of Quality And Time Prior To Service from Building Business Relationships
How to improve customer satisfaction 200% with this advice no one else follows. [Read More]

Tracked on January 21, 2006 7:06 PM

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