Whether you operate as a small local business or work closely with international shipping companies as a large enterprise, delivering reliable and professional customer’s experience is of utmost importance. However, mistakes are bound to happen and stepping up when a poor experience crops up can make or break your brand’s reputation.
According to Small Biz Genius, 82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper than acquisition, with 56% of customers willingly staying with brands that provide pro-consumer communication and servicing. In addition, Small Biz Trends reported that 82% of customers in the US stopped doing business with companies due to poor customer servicing, with 66% of them switching brands to more reliable businesses in the same industry shortly after. The fact of the matter is – no customer will abandon your brand because of the poor delivery experience itself.
However, they will undoubtedly abandon your brand and become a detractor in their social circles if their poor delivery experience is mishandled, ignored or otherwise not compensated for shortly thereafter. With that said, let’s discuss how you can retain customers even after a poor experience with your product delivery, as well as some genuine reasons to do quickly after receiving a support ticket.
The Importance of Following Up on Poor Delivery Experiences
It’s important to note what benefits your business can have from handling post-purchase delivery experience complaints instead of focusing on acquiring new leads. In the age of social media and viral content, losing public trust in your brand and services is as easy as delivering a single poor experience to an individual customer. Thus, having reliable writing platforms such as EssaySupply and Evernote , readily available for handling complaint tickets and support queries is highly recommended.
As we’ve mentioned previously, mishandling someone’s order, delivering it late or in poor condition by itself will rarely result in a detraction from your reputation and revenue on the local market. Following up on such instances, as rare as they may be, will effectively paint a more positive and welcoming image of your business for future customers and B2B partners going forward.
To avoid future instances of problematic deliveries or poor customer experience, you can integrate a delivery experience management platform into your business model to further refine your pipeline. As such, some of the most concrete and practical benefits of following up on poor delivery experiences sooner rather than later include:
- Increased organic customer retention and brand advocacy
- Improved public image, industry positioning and brand authority
- Streamlined customer servicing and better implementation of feedback data
- Higher overall ROI due to a minimized poor future delivery experience possibility
Poor Delivery Experience Retention Techniques
Acknowledge that the Mistake Happened
The first order of business in terms of handling poor PR if the poor delivery experience has been presented publicly via social media is to acknowledge the mistake. Even if the customer is overreacting or if there is a genuine reason for your delivery to be late or of poorer quality than usual, these complaints should not be handled emotionally.
Rather, try to look at the criticism and proof of poor delivery in a constructive manner, a manner that will help you improve your services in the future. Different writing services can be used to prepare emergency-response statements for such occasions until your customer support team is able to get in touch with the persons in question for further inquiry about their delivery experience.
Implement Customer Feedback Surveys
Once you have put out a PR statement acknowledging that a mistake has happened, you should find out what really happened in greater detail. Customer feedback surveys are a great way to not only gain valuable, detailed insight into the situation but also to retain customers given that you are interested in what they have to say. In order to create meaningful, informative and easy-to-understand questions for your forms, you can refer to several platforms:
Hemingway Editor – a platform that will help you streamline your wording and sentence flow to ensure clarity of communication with native and non-native speakers
Grammarly - a proofreading and spell checking tool capable of fixing any grammar or writing mistakes in your questions prior to shipping them to your customers
Thesaurus – a dictionary tool that can help make your writing more understandable and approachable for customers unfamiliar with your industry-specific vocabulary
Platforms such as Google Forms offer a straightforward and user-friendly way in which you can create and then deliver surveys to customers via email or social media. Make sure to be on the lookout for responses and to acknowledge that you have received individual survey forms to further build back your trust with the customer base.
Learn from Customer Complaints
As we’ve mentioned previously, not all customers will be objective and cool-headed about their responses to a poor delivery experience – and for justifiable reasons. However, as a service provider, your job is to face these complaints with a leveled and critical response that will address their worries in order to find a common solution to the issue.
Analyze the responses provided by your customers, both those that are descriptive and those which are fueled by emotion or annoyance – you can learn a lot from both sides of the argument. Not only will you find a solution to the current issue more quickly, but you will also learn valuable lessons for future delivery servicing, lowering your margin for error going forward.
Address Customer’s Complaints on Time
The key to successfully handling support tickets and poor delivery experiences is to react in a timely fashion. Don’t wait more than 24 hours to address complaints, requests for refunds or other correspondence from your customers no matter how uncomfortable you may be with the notion of doing so.
Remember – the person on the other end feels just as uneasy as you do, given that they paid for a product or service and received a poor experience for entrusting you with their resources. Be at the ready for incoming support tickets and start working on their solution sooner rather than later in order to improve your customer retention.
Personalize your Communications
Given the nature of following up on a poor delivery experience, you should take an emphatic and friendly stance with your customer base rather than a distanced, calculated one. Personalized messages, email correspondence and the way you address your individual customers (by name, not by title) will do wonders for your retention.
If you experience a poor experience with a brand you’ve entrusted your money and time with, you don’t want to be addressed as a “dear customer”. Instead, you should aim to diffuse the situation and encourage your customers to share feedback and multimedia content (proof of poor delivery, if it arrived) to better assess your current situation. Cooperate with your customers rather than treat them as tickets to be solved and your reputation and retention will be unharmed.
Compensate for the Poor Experience
A great way to build goodwill with customers who have had poor experiences with your brand is to offer them compensation shortly after the fact. Once their support ticket has been resolved, you can follow up on the correspondence with a formal apology, followed by a discount coupon, an Amazon gift card or another sign of appreciation depending on the order’s size and complexity.
These compensations will allow customers to see that you are genuinely sorry for what happened with their order and that you are willing to better your services through lessons learned. As such, those same customers will be far more willing to give your business another shot in hopes of a more successful and higher quality experience.
Use Unbiased Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Lastly, one of the best ways to build public trust and reputation as a worthwhile business is to use unfiltered customer reviews and testimonials in your marketing efforts. As we’ve discussed previously, constructive criticism and feedback will always perform better in attracting new customers and retaining existing ones rather than curated, glowing reviews ever could.
With that said, make sure to strike a healthy balance of objective testimonials and those that are critical of your customer services. A good example of an unbiased review system can be seen in Google Play and their efforts to present would-be customers with good and bad testimonials simultaneously, giving the public a clear picture of each product’s public perception. Be consumer-oriented and strive to handle poor delivery experiences in a professional and timely manner – the reviews and testimonials you receive as a result will showcase those efforts.
Constant Growth (Conclusion)
Both customer acquisition and retention will play pivotal roles in your business’ continued success in the global market. Make sure that you are prepared for potential poor criticism, social media detractors or other forms of poor delivery experience expressions from disappointed customers.
These instances won’t signal the end of your business – quite the contrary, in fact, they will give you valuable opportunities to grow as a service provider. Approach every support ticket as a lesson to learn from and your customer retention rates will undoubtedly glow as a result.