By Nicole Wise on Apr 3, 2014 12:31:00 PM
Marketing Hints and Tips:
The next time an angry customer gives you a ring, please listen. We become so mesmerized with how great our own company is that sometimes we forget to listen to those that think otherwise. We blame their bad experience to their high expectations or just pure dumb luck. Sometimes this is the case, but often it’s not. By listening to our dissatisfied customers, we can stop a small problem before it becomes a big one and take advantage of a powerful marketing opportunity: word of mouth.
According to a Business Insider article, “When customers complain, they are giving your company an opportunity to improve your business.” At the end of the day, customers are acting in their own self-interest and they have no problem giving you the cold, hard truth. A complaint is a powerful tool that allows you to “turn the negatives represented by complaints into positives.”
In a 1971 study by John Goodman, Goodman discovered that complaints could be “turned into a powerful marketing force to drive sales, repeat business and greater profits.” According to Goodman, 4% of people that have a bad experience with a service/product will complain. The other 96% of people stop their service and tell 9-10 people about their experience within a week. The 4% that complained will tell “6-7 others within a week that the company solved their problem.” That’s a great marketing opportunity for lawn care companies. The power and influence of word of mouth in the green industry has only increased with the introduction of social media and the Internet.
In a previous company, Holganix CEO, Barrett Ersek, turned complaints into an opportunity to upsell. When customers called complaining about crabgrass, he could educate and sell them aeration and seeding. Or, as technicians went to fix the problem, they could use the opportunity to sell an additional service such as tree and shrub or a pest program depending on the needs of the client.
So next time, please listen to the complaints. You might just win because of it.