I recently met the publisher of food and dining magazine who had a fascinating approach to handling upset customers.
Whenever his company makes a mistake that causes an influx of angry emails and phone calls, his strategy works as follows.
Announce, apologize, remediate, explain and apologize again.
Announce, meaning acknowledging and owning the problem immediately. Because the speed of the response is the response.
Apologize, meaning saying you’re sorry in a transparent, empathic way. Because nothing infuriates customers more than terminal certainty.
Remediate, meaning taking immediate and calculated action to solve the problem. Because people want to know you’re actively the case.
Explain, meaning educating customers why the problem occurred. Because knowing that diffuses their anger.
And finally, apologize again. That’s the critical step. Even if it happens hours or even days after the incident, it still closes the loop and reminds angry customers that you screwed up and you know and you’re truly sorry.
That makes people think, holy shit, they remembered me. I’m part of a thing. Thank you.
Proving, that caring is what makes the world work. That customers don’t stop being important the moment they buy from us.
And that if we learn to satisfy people on their terms, not ours, and actually treat them as real people with needs and desires and dreams, then we can create a truly unique interface between the company and the world.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do your angry customers want a refund, or a connection, an apology and some empathy?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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