Think your customers aren’t experiencing problems with your company? Think again. Fifty-nine percent of customers answering a recent Gallup poll report experiencing problems with at least one company in the past six months.
And if high customer problem rates weren’t bad enough, many companies’ problem resolution processes are seriously missing the mark. Unfortunately, poor problem resolution wreaks havoc on customer engagement, brand perception and future purchase intent. However, when a company handles problems effectively, it can dodge potential threats and end up with higher customer engagement than it had before the problem happened.
Why? Because customers care more about how companies handle problems than about the existence of them in the first place.
So while taking actions to prevent customer problems, you should also work on your problem resolution strategies.
There are three things that customers said most impact whether they are pleased with a problem resolution experience: problem severity, how often problems occur and their satisfaction with the way a company handled the problem, Gallup reports.
Problem severity accounts for 10 percent of the variance in problem resolution satisfaction. Customers who experience minor problems are far more willing to do business with them again versus customers who experience major problems. Severe problems are often attributed to shortcomings in a company’s policies, culture or processes. By identifying and addressing these operational weak points, you can better prevent major problems that destroy customer engagement.
Among customers who were satisfied with the resolution of a problem, 93 percent were satisfied because they felt valued and trusted, the company took ownership, the problem was resolved rapidly and employees communicated genuine regret.
What should your customer-centric problem resolution look like? Whatever your customers prefer. Customers want to contact a company once, talk to one employee, use one communication channel to do so and don’t want to continue repeating their problem over and over again before it’s resolved.
And while 75 percent of customers said they preferred reporting problems in person or by phone, Gallup found that as long as the problem is resolved, customers care less about the specific channel that was used.
Do you have a process in place to solve your customers’ issues?