A pound of cure in a bad customer experience (Pt. 2)

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In a pervious post I looked at what an Ounce of Prevention might look like in preventing a bad customer experience. (You can read it here).

Now lets talk about what to do when a bad customer experience happens.

  1. Do Not Take It Personally:
    I know a few small business owners who take a customer responding badly to their product or service after a failure really personally. When someone takes personally a bad review or a customer expressing their bad experience it can interrupt their logical thought process in trying to make amends.
    It is vital to remain emotionally distant from the situation so that you can respond in the proper way. Responding from an emotional position can end up escalating the situations and it will end up being more damaging to the brand. This also involves giving the customer the benefit of the doubt and not assuming they are just out to try and damage your business.
  2. Listen:
    Listen to what the customer is saying when they have a complaint to share. This is an opportunity to 1. Show empathy and 2. make a customer into a stark raving fan!
    Think about it! You have a customer who cares enough about their experience to tell you about how to make it better. There are those who are just out to try and get something for free but we should use this as a chance to become better.
  3. Finally customer may be entitled to some renumeration. If someone’s order was messed up, your product failed, or your service fell well below expectations you may need to reimburse the customer in someway. This is one step that can really make the client feel valued and could prevent you from losing a customer to getting at least one more chance to prove yourself to them.

If they comment on social media and the comment is legitimate, do not delete their post! Respond with kindness and an offer to rectify the situation. People will notice the response and generally reward you for it.


If you take this fail and do your best to turn it into a win a customer might end up having a great experience and you know what happens when a customer has a great experience? They tell people!


Everyday we have a chance to win and make stark raving fans. Make it count with every customer!


What is holistic marketing?

While guest teaching a class with a client at the University of Memphis-Lambuth campus last week I made the following statement:

“As a marketer I am a bit of a control freak.”

I think as marketing continues to develop this statement will become more common. If you handle the marketing for a business, not just providing a service like a logo or some print material, it will serve you well to be a little controlling when it comes to marketing.

As the marketer for a business (or the owner) I think you should start thinking about every point of contact with a customer as an opportunity to make a stark raving fan. I describe this thought process as Holistic Marketing. Holistic marketing means that marketing is more than just a logo and an ad.

Holistic marketing works through all of the pieces of your business to help the customer have a great user experience

(to borrow a term from the web design world). Instead of thinking about something like customer service or returns as an annoying/nonprofitable area think of it as a tool you have to help retain a customer and increase that customer’s lifetime value.

Like social media, websites, and text messaging, customer experience is another tool of the marketer.

If you have a great ad and someone comes to your restaurant, visits your retail location, or calls your phone number and the food is cold or the clerk is rude your ad is going to do more harm than good. Before you spend money on ads think: What pieces do we need to have in place to make sure this ad is as successful as possible? Evaluate the entire process for the customer from walking in the door to completing his purchase to returning something if her experience is bad. Then think about how you can make each step in the process great for the customer.

Questions about holistic marketing? Send me an email and we can set up a consultation.


First Impressions happen fast.

Another great resource for marketers is Marketing Charts. Marketing Charts is a free email service that shares some of the latest and greatest data about marketing.

First impressions happen fast. Sometimes before you even start the interaction (HT Art of Manliness: How to Enter a Room Like a Boss) These stats help me think about two things: 1. The first interaction with your product matters (duh) 2.What comes before that interaction.

1. Obviously if you mess up the initial interaction: the first meeting, the first plate of food, the first presentation, the first printing, the rest of the relationship is going to suffer.

2. I think to make such a strong connection so quickly there are often going to be some preliminary things happening:
Two thoughts:
1. Word of Mouth/Reputation: Your reputation sets the stage for your entrance to the party/meeting/point of first contact. Keep an eye on your online reviews and know what people say about you. When I go to a restaurant and I have read online that their service is slow, I am keeping a special eye out for it. Pay attention to and fix your weaknesses. Someone who is primed to be a critic becomes a fan to defend your reputation quickly.

2. Branding/Appearance: When you enter a place, the place will help set your perception of the interaction that is about to happen. It is the same thing with the brand personality that you put out into the community, if you use the average Joe persona people might be taken back by a $30 steak on the menu. Use your branding to help set the stage for your first interaction with a customer.

Think through the whole interaction, even try to imagine the part you are not privy to.  Use the tools you have to set up the first interaction with your brand to be successful so that you grow rabid fans quickly. Now I wonder what we could accomplish with some rabid fans?