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What a dissatisfied customer costs you

11 minutes

Président co-fondateur | Entrepreneur en série, j'adore mettre au monde des idées innovantes.

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Once you know that it is impossible to satisfy everyone, it becomes easy to understand that each company has its share of detractors. The detractors are those dissatisfied customers who don’t hesitate to say so. Even if their number is smaller compared to the quantity of promoters, they can generate more serious effects than one could imagine. This is why it’s important to take charge of the file of a detractor as quickly as possible since it risks enticing other customers in its approach as well as having a negative impact on the company’s reputation. But beware, in this case, if excellent customer service can restore the situation, awkward customer service will only make it worse. Here’s in a few words why it is essential to take seriously the file of a detractor.

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The dollars speak

No one will be surprised to learn that a detractor is twice as likely to tell of their negative experience as a promoter who plans to speak highly of your business. Yes, the dissatisfied cost more to satisfy, but the anxious entrepreneur has to deal with it because the figures show that they generate more than 80% of negative word of mouth. In addition, for them, Google and Facebook are perfect playgrounds. To restore the situation, your customers or those who plan to become one will have to read a lot of four or five star reviews before forgetting the only one star review left by your detractor. It is often after giving a low rating and comments that hurt your business that the detractor will go to see a competitor.

Ultimately, this departure will result in more than the loss of a simple sale if one relies on the lifetime value of a customer (Costumer Lifetime Value, or CLV). CLV gives you an idea of ​​the total profit that your company makes with each customer. For example, if your business generates $ 3,000 per year per customer and it costs $ 500 to acquire each customer who buys from you for an average of 5 years, your company’s CLV would be $ 3,000 x 5 – 500 = $ 14,500. This means that for each customer who chooses one of your competitors after an unsatisfactory experience, you lose not only the immediate cost of the product or service, but also $ 14,500. Now multiply this amount by the number of customers that your detractor, by his negative remarks, will succeed in convincing to no longer trust you …

Some statistics

To deepen the case and understand the scope of a detractor’s actions, here are some figures that speak volumes:

– More than 95% of customers talk about bad experiences with others and 45% share negative opinions on social media;

– For their purchasing decisions, 88% of consumers allow themselves to be influenced by online reviews;

– A single negative online review can cost an average business the loss of around 30 customers;

– According to Ruby Newell-Legner, expert in customer experience, it takes 12 positive experiences to compensate for a bad experience;

– According to the Marketing Metrics guide, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70%, and that of selling to a new potential customer is 5 to 20%;

– The consulting firm in strategy and management Bain & Company estimates that it costs 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire a new client than to retain an existing client;

– According to consulting firm McKinsey, 70% of shopping experiences are based on how the customer feels, not on the price of the product.

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Happy ending or dead end

At the end of the day, you may not be able to fulfill the claimant’s request – for example honoring an expired warranty – but make sure you offer something that will meet their requirements, such as a preferential rate on their next subscription or a discount on the purchase of one of your products. If you find common ground, later follow up on satisfaction to demonstrate your thoroughness and professionalism.

Be aware that you can also reach a dead end. If necessary, remain empathetic to the cause of the complainant by expressing your point of view, your philosophy in all transparency. Then know when to end the argument. In the worst case scenario, letting a legal third party resolve the misunderstanding may be more constructive for your business than a long-standing smear campaign.

“Take care of me …”

Whether based on statistics or not, the conscientious entrepreneur understands that the presence of a detractor among his clientele should never be underestimated. In fact, successful businesses strongly take into consideration the negative reviews left by their critics. Immediately, they tackle the problem to fix it before it becomes more important. This gesture tends to slow the detractor in its approach since according to several consumers, it is really when we take the trouble to address them that real customer service begins: “Take care of me, my case … “

Finally, we can say that at the outset, there is not much difference between a promoter and a detractor: basically, both are passionate about what you offer, but for the second, there is something missing his buying experience, and that, the dedicated entrepreneur can bring to him. So why not work to improve your customer experience process?

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