Dealing with a difficult customer. A story.
I was digging around a Fair Trading site for you,
I found this case study (with a little embellishment from me - You know how I like to lighten things up).
I hope you enjoy it!
Solve my problem now!
Dealing with a difficult customer. Watch this unfold.
A woman stormed into a plumbing company’s head office demanding to see the manager about an unfinished plumbing job.
She was looking for a fight because she had repeatedly asked that the plumbing be fixed for her daughter’s wedding party next week, and there were only two days to go.
The manager invited her into his office and allowed her to let off steam. He
demonstrated a personal interest in her predicament and agreed that having leaky pipes in the toilet would be a problem.
He then calmly explained the reasons why the job had been delayed – there had been heavy rains and many emergency plumbing jobs to be carried out. In fact, a young couple nearby had their whole house flooded.
He then picked up the phone to the plumber handling the job and told him that he and the customer were anxious to have the job finished by the weekend. The plumber privately explained to his manager that he had four jobs that day and they were all emergencies.
The manager then informed him that this was also an emergency.
He asked whether he could come and patch up the pipes for the weekend and return the following week to finish the job properly?
The plumber thought about this for a minute or so and said that, yes, he could temporarily stop the leaking for a couple of days and then fix it properly next week.
The manager explained this to the customer who immediately perked up.
No, she didn’t mind the plumber coming back next week to do the job properly, just as long as he could stop the ugly streak of dirty water leaking from the back of the bathroom toilet.
The manager assured her that there would be no leaking pipes during the wedding party.
The customer left the office feeling vindicated. The company had recognised her problem as important and had solved it to her satisfaction.
When the plumber arrived the next day he was smart enough to place a fridge magnet with the company’s phone number on it on both the customer's fridge and the storage tank of her hot water service.
Their service was the subject of much discussion at the wedding party the
If you are dealing with a difficult customer, why should you welcome their complaints?
For every one dissatisfied customer whose complaint you handle well:
* 83% will become loyal
* They will recommend you to five others.
Not only will you have retained their custom, you also have five potential new
customers, just because you have resolved a complaint quickly, efficiently and fairly.
That sounds like making money from complaints!
Here's how to save money by good complaint handling.
By having a well thought through complaint handling policy (thats your company rule) and a proceedure (that's how to DO the rule), you will need to spend less time and money attracting new customers.
It’s worth remembering that it costs about five times more, to attract a new
customer than to keep an existing one.
Think of the savings in advertising!
It is worth seeking suggestions and compliments as well as complaints. You can also gain from discovering the things you are doing well.
If you have started 'The Secrets of Getting In' course I run, you'll remember
how exciting it was getting those 'Customer Satisfaction Surveys' back from the 15 clients you sent them out to.
What an eyeopener!
If you haven't experienced the insight of your own Customer Satisfaction Survey, click here , email me and we can talk.
Don't take my word for it . . .
here is Craig Cook from Atlantis Plumbing:
"When Paul and I began his 'Target Practice' programme, I seriously thought we’d be mainly discussing marketing ideas.
When we began discussing the other parts of my life, I couldn't see how this was going to help my business.
I was sceptical.
In the beginning, I was uncertain about setting goals in areas like my physical development, and family life - areas I'd neglected for a while.
Now, I feel more connected to my wife and have even begun to feel fit again (something I haven't been for years).
My business has somehow benefitted in the process, even though I don't understand how.
If anyone was looking at Paul's programme, be prepared for an emotional journey.
But one that is worthwhile.
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.
Craig Cook - Atlantis Plumbing
Carlton – Sydney - Australia
Till next time,
© Paul Johnson 2013
Missing Piece Marketing
Call: 0407 261 900
(+61 407261900 outside Australia - please consider the time zone change - Thanks)