Do you have customers who abuse your services, cost money or otherwise damage your business? Here are 5 steps to tackle these thorny issues.
Sales are vital to any business, naturally. But sometimes even paying customers can be too much trouble. Decades of reinforcing the message that the “customer is always right” have not helped, either. A generation of consumers – now armed with social media – is trained to hunt for good deals and at times takes unfair advantage. Suddenly, a change in policy that is perceived by the masses as “anti-consumer” can ruin a company’s reputation in minutes.
Still, the heart of the issue is the same: Can you change your overall customer strategy and still keep a strong relationship with your good customers?
If you’re considering changing your relationship with some or all of your customers, try the following:
- Define your core customers. Who are your key, valuable customer segments today? What do they need, and how might that change in the future? This will help to influence both current and future customer-centric efforts.
- Understand the bad eggs. What are the problem-customers after? How do their needs match or conflict with what you offer? Is there something you’re doing to encourage their “bad” behaviour?
- Assess the damage. How much do the bad eggs cost your business today? What are the potential long-term business and brand implications if it continues? Are there any long-term benefits?
- Classify the problem. Is the problem occasional or endemic? Is it within or outside the control of your business alone? How easy is it to change? What kind of damage might a change cause for your business? What is the upside? Resolving these questions will help you determine what measures to take.
- Plan and take action. Depending on the above, your next steps may be minor or radical. Consider your stakeholders’ reactions when you decide to enact change. Run small pilots first, to test a variety of approaches, before launching a business-wide change.
Consumer relationships are more personal these days, and consumers feel they deserve a real voice in the corporate arena. Social media is their megaphone. This is not a bad thing. It just poses new challenges for businesses. When you’re running a massive business with a large market share, changing the rules for visitors may entail working through major social, ethical, and business implications.
What happens if you do not address the issue? Having staff spend time and attention on the bad eggs means that you are neglecting the needs of those people who truly support your business. Unless you are a charity, “bad customers” can seriously drain your profitability and can destroy your business in the long run. If you and other firms do not thrive, it means that many more other people will suffer as well.
At Creative Talent Solutions we believe that once you offer your service or products to another person, you then become a customer service representative and that person is now your customer. Anyone involved in business therefore needs to know the principals of effective customer service skills. Knowing how to deal with customers in difficult situations, how to respond to their requests or concerns or simply providing a positive and memorable experience for your clients helps you and your company to rise above the competition. Creative Talent Solutions can help. Interested? Get in touch by clicking here