Excellent customer service is the cornerstone of every successful business. Happy customers aren’t just more likely to repeatedly support your business, but they’ll also gladly recommend your services and products to people they know. Even better, they’ll also write glowing online reviews and give your business positive reviews, which will help boost your visibility and spread awareness.
With that said, it’s not always possible to please every single customer 100% of the time. A few bad customer experiences are inevitable for every growing business. Whether it’s because you’re having an off day or because your service or product simply isn’t every person’s cup of tea, bad customer experiences can have negative repercussions for your business.
If you manage a local service or product-based business, then you need all of the good publicity you can get. Here are a few of the most common hidden costs of customer dissatisfaction and how you can make positive impactful changes.
A Bad Customer Experiences Can Ruin Your Reputation
You know the saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. Well, that’s not always true when it comes to trying to grow your business. Customers are more likely to complain and leave negative reviews if they’ve had a bad experience with your business.
What’s more is that everyone and their grandma has a smartphone nowadays that they use to record all kinds of events that go viral and that includes mistreatment of customers in your store. Oftentimes, people will even record employees being rude to customers for various reasons. No matter what the context is behind the situation, this almost never bodes well for the business in question. In the age of unlimited digital communication, the last thing you want is for your business to go viral because of a negative encounter with a customer.
Once a certain negative customer encounter goes viral, you’ll forever be known as “that” company because the Internet never forgets anything.
It’s Possible to Recover from a Bad First Impression
It takes a lot more effort, time, money, and resources to try to recover from a bad customer experience than it does to just consistently deliver good ones from the very beginning. Every business owner or employee makes mistakes from time to time or has an off day, especially while the business is still new and you’re trying to get your bearings right.
As long as you take things in stride and learn from those mistakes, you can make the necessary adjustments to avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over again. A good rule of thumb is to always listen to your customers. Take their feedback and concerns seriously. If you notice that multiple customers are giving the same or similar feedback, don’t ignore it. Do something about it. Fix the problem and your customers will appreciate your efforts to make them feel valued.
You should also take advice from experts in your industry who have more experience than you do. If customers have a bad first impression of your business, then retaining their support will be a lot harder and more costly. The same also goes for trying to acquire new customers using the same business model that’s not working for your existing customers.
Bad Customer Experiences Hamper the Growth of Your Business
As mentioned, customers who have negative experiences with your business are always quick to leave a bad review and low online rating because they want to make sure people know what happened to them. Very rarely will you be given a second chance to redeem yourself. Unfortunately, that also means that a lot of other potential customers will see these reviews and take them at face value.
Even worse, bad publicity can spread quickly through word-of-mouth. And with social media taking precedence, more people than ever are likely to learn about these bad experiences. A few rotten apples can spoil the whole bunch.
The best thing you can do is try to rectify the situation. If you can do so on a public forum like social media or in the reviews and comments section of your Google My Business knowledge panel, even better because more people will see it. Address each and every single customer’s comments, feedback, and concerns. Launch a full investigation into each claim, especially the major ones that could jeopardize your business and try to actively find impactful solutions that work. Chances are that if one customer has a specific complaint or bad experience, others might also share their views and you need to try to prevent that from happening as much as possible.
Use Resources for Business Growth
It’s bad enough when one customer has a complaint or issue with your business, but when multiple customers have the same or similar complaints, it’s time to go into damage control mode fast. Unfortunately, that means allocating a lot of funds and resources toward trying to find a palpable solution to the problem. That’s money and resources that could have been spent trying to grow your business instead. To put a more positive spin on it, though, you could think of tweaking aspects of your business model a form of growth. By identifying these problems early on, you can fix them right away and avoid them in the future.
Damage control can include reaching out to dissatisfied customers to gain a better perspective of the situation, offering special incentives in an effort to redeem your reputation, or simply cutting your losses and letting go of certain irreparable customer relationships.
At some point, you might be backed into a corner and realize that some customer relationships simply can’t be saved and that severing the tie might be more fiscally feasible than trying to change their minds about your business. On the bright side, this is a great learning opportunity so that you can make the necessary improvements to grow your business.
3C Contact Services is a leading customer support and contact center in North America. We specialize in providing customer service solutions over the phone, via email, and through live chat. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow and manage your business.