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Nooobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!

By on Feb 1, 2008 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

4 Ways To Use Database Software to Handle Complaints

Although it may feel like torture, a complaint from a valuable customer is a gift. It’s a reality check. Use it to make a valuable course correction in your business and exploit the chance to build on an already priceless customer relationship.

Here are 4 ways to use database software to respond to negative customer feedback and strengthen customer relationships.

  1. Know who your best customers are. Your time and people resources are limited. To protect them so you can serve your best customers and to minimize wasted effort on low-revenue contacts, prioritize customers based on their value to your company. In your database, for example, add a VIP code to identify your A-B-C customers. A = “Top 20%” in the 80/20 Rule, and B = “Top 21% – 30%”. Cs are everyone else.
  2. Fire your cheapest and biggest complainers (usually the bottom 10%). Rule #1 of customer relationship management is that customers are not created equally. Once you know who’s who, get rid of the lowest tier (by fewest dollars spent, infrequent purchasing or time handling ongoing complaints). Or funnel them through a more self-service channel.
  3. Have a pre-set strategy for handling customer complaints based on VIP code. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, but when it happens, your staff instantly knows the appropriate company response by looking up their “quality score” in the database. They’ll instantly know whether to offer a future order discount or route the call to the presidential hotline. Conversely…
  4. Lavish A+ premium service on a high net-worth “A” customers. Handle the complaint, send a mea culpa gift and schedule 2 more follow-up customer service calls in your database. There’s a reason why it’s 5X easier to sell an existing customer than to find a new one. Your good customers complain because they care. Listen, then act. They’ll stay loyal and keep spending.

Monty Python was the best at taking mundane situations and turning them into stress-o-fests. If handling negative customer feedback takes its toll on you, lighten the pressure by creating a database-driven complaint-handling system.

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