February 06 2012

Turning an Unhappy Customer into an Advocate

Tom Feeney, Safelite® President and CEO

Let’s face it. No one is perfect 100 percent of the time. Mistakes happen. Customers have different expectations than you delivered. Now what?

There are three things a company can choose to do. One, you can stick your head in the sand and ignore it. Two, you can apologize and make up for it in some way. Three, once you fix it, you learn from it.

In my opinion, it’s not good enough just to say sorry and credit the customer. You have to use those experiences to improve your business so you don’t make the same mistakes repeatedly.

Just one percent of our customers complain about a service issue. When they do, they are put in touch with our Executive Services team. Even if they don’t come to us first – and we find them online or through our customer satisfaction survey, our Executive Services department contacts them to correct the issue.

This has done wonders for our business. Often, this highly professional CSR can correct the issue and turn the unhappy customer into an advocate.

But this isn’t a job just for anyone. It takes empathetic, patient individuals to make it work. And then, you have to give them the power to fix it – without all kinds of bureaucratic red tape.

I encourage you to read my newest white paper discussing how our company handles unhappy customers and then share with me your thoughts, ideas and feedback. When was the last time you complained to a company and got a solution you were happy with?

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