Anyone can make customers happy.
But if you really want to be a hero, if you want to wow
people’s pants off and get their mouths moving about your brand, you need a way
to make the people who aren’t your customers wish they were.
Here’s one that pays.
Every day, people complain. Publicly. They tweet, blog,
review or digitally kvetch about crappy service, disrespectful treatment,
failed technology, lack of support, poor product quality, underwhelming
shopping experiences and outrageous prices.
And nobody listens to them. Their complaints disappear into
the digital ether.
This is the best thing that ever happened to you. Especially
if these people are complaining about one of your competitors.
First, actively seek
out negativity. In less than ten seconds, you can have your finger on the pulse
of millions of frustrated customers. Social media isn’t a sales tool, it’s a
hearing aid. And most search functions will tell you everything you need to
Second, do some light
stalking. Get to know these people. Find out who they are, what they love
and where they hang. Follow them. Search for kernels that give insight into
their whole world.
Third, respond to
people’s emotions. Complainers just want to feel validated. Before
launching into a solution, honor their humanity. Be fundamentally affirmative.
Show some lighthearted personality to help the cause.
Fourth, apologize on
behalf of your competitor. Tell customers they deserve better. Tell them that’s
no way to be treated. And tell them they’re not in competition for the right to
be treated decently.
Fifth, make it
tangible. Take a picture. Send a card. Publish a video. Mail a delight
item. Nothing fancy, nothing contrived. Just something that takes effort and
care. Something completely unexpected that they’ll never forget.
The point is, you can still make things right, even though
you weren’t the one who made it wrong.
You’re not making war with the competitor, you’re making
love to the customer.