Your small business receives a complaint. A customer is upset and wants you to do something about it.
Think you need to address this situation right away? Yeah, you probably should but don’t feel too much pressure to address your customer’s complaint immediately.
It turns out you’ll still be OK in most cases if you respond to a complaint in between one and three days. That’s according to new data from GetFiveStars, a company that’s created a platform encouraging small businesses to get feedback and reviews from its customers.
GetFiveStars co-founder Mike Blumenthal surveyed a group of 480 adults about how long they expect a local company to respond to a complaint. While 38 percent said a local business should respond to a customer complaint within one day, that wasn’t the real shocker. No, that came when a surprising 30.3 percent of those responding to Blumenthal’s survey said they believed three days was enough time to respond. Really?
That means two-thirds of your customers, presumably, don’t expect you to respond to their complaint right away.
It seems like a long time to let a complaint fester. And Blumenthal believes small business can thank big companies for lowering the bar.
Blumenthal told Small Business Trends, “The consuming public have very low expectations.”
He suspects that the approach taken by big businesses — particularly those that exist with little or no competition (like cable companies) — have trained the average consumer not to expect rapid response.
And some customers seem content to let their complaints even longer than that without resolution. GetFiveStars’ data reveals 12.5 percent of customers don’t really expect a company to get back to them to resolve their issue in less than a week. These are certainly some understanding customers indeed!
Exceeding Customer Expectations is Easy if You Address Complaints Quickly
But just because customers have been trained to put up with long waits to get their issues resolved doesn’t mean you should make them wait. Blumenthal explains. “It’s not about excellence. It’s about exceeding expectations.”
If you want to stand out from the competition — particularly big companies that make customers feel like their concerns don’t matter — then get in front of complaints right away.
GetFiveStars data shows that only 15.9 percent of those responding expect a company to get back to them in just 1-3 hours. Only 1.9 percent say they expect an immediate response.
But remember, this is only about what customers have been trained to expect from the companies with whom they do business. What wold happen if your business went the extra mile. How much good ill could you generate for your business by addressing problems within hours instead of within days?
Well, a lot, it seems. Blumenthal’s data suggests 90 percent of customers whose complaints were addressed quickly and who felt their problems had been resolved to their satisfaction, would remain loyal to that business.
“You’re winning the battle for loyalty,” he explains.
This article, “Two-thirds of Customers are Used to Waiting Up to Three Days for Complaint Resolution” was first published on Small Business Trends
from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/08/two-thirds-of-customers-are-used-to.html