Just call me Mr. Negative. (I may have gone on too long with this “How to Transform Complainers into Cheerleaders” series.) But folks, this stuff is important and now more than ever with the Internet!
That’s why I strongly suggested a) you send a different “neutral” employee back to re-do any complaint and b) cheerfully re-do the complaint fast while c) insisting (begging?) your client to be there to watch you work on the problem.
These tips helped my complaining customers become my biggest Cheerleaders! Now let’s wrap this series up with my one-two punch that will make a complaining customer absolutely fall in love with your company…
#1- Feel their pain!
It isn’t easy to complain. Customers have to “build up a big head of steam” since they feel they will hit apathy, indifference and/or outright hostility from you. (This is why you get those blisteringly angry “all steamed up” phone calls.)
So you fix their problem. Great! But remember, Cheerleaders are made by DRAMATICALLY EXCEEDING their expectations. And your complaining customer expects you to (eventually and grudgingly) resolve their complaint. Big deal! So now you must “surprise” your client…
#2- Do something extra for free!
Think about it. Your customer has been seriously inconvenienced by even having to complain. So make it up to them with “Symbolic Atonement”. After your client signs off on your efforts to fix their concern simply say, “I really appreciate you giving me a chance to make things right. Let me do “something extra” for you by …” So what can you gift your client?
1) Touch up adjacent carpeted areas or entrance mats. Or clean some nearby soiled couch cushions.
2) Offer to hit the wear areas on their car upholstery or (a big deal with parents) clean their baby’s car seat.
3) My favorite? Give them a 20.00 to 50.00 gift check good for their next cleaning. (Or work a deal with restaurants you clean for discounted restaurant gift certificates.)
Commercial HINT: Why not make it up to a complaining tenant with a small gift certificate toward their home cleaning? They will be delighted and you pick up a new residential client!
Restoration HINT: You (hopefully) are charging the insurance company to “re-apply” carpet protector. So give the insured a free 12 Month “Spot and Spill” Warranty on their carpets. HERE is a Spot and Spill Warranty template. Just type in your company name and print it out. You’re welcome!