Customer Experience

What do customers really want when things go wrong?

By September 14, 2015 No Comments

Content Management giant SDL recently surveyed 2,784 consumers all over the world. From this, they pulled together some trends and tips related to customer experience.

For us, this was the most interesting group of findings:

In other words, where the customer faces an issue and does not receive any kind of acknowledgement or redress:

  1. They’re far less likely to recommend.
  2. They’re likely to spend less in future.
  3. They’re fairly likely to start looking at alternatives to your company.

An interesting snippet related to social media, albeit not qualified with full data, “Consumers with larger social networks will broadcast failures more often”.

Though these are the results of a survey, and customers do not always act as they say they do in surveys, these broadly match is feels intuitively true – a customer who knows they have a larger level of social sway will more likely use it.

How to react to this?

The answer to how to react to this is perhaps obvious – the survey itself reveals the attributes of a good response:

  1. Make sure you give customers as much opportunity as possible to¬†tell you when they’ve hit an issue.
  2. Actively monitor that feedback.
  3. React:
    • Simply apologise.
    • Acknowledge the issue where there is one, and admit your failures.
    • Explain how you’ll fix it, or why you’re unable to if not.
    • Compensate the customer for the issue if it’s a big one.

With our data, we often find this. A long-time customer leaves a note “the voucher code did not work”, “it charged me for next day shipping, but then said the order would arrive in 2 days”, “I only wanted to order one but it has double-counted my order”. We find that – where there is no response, the customer is less likely to come back. Where a response happens quickly, the customer is usually firstly surprised, and secondly quite often delighted.

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