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When Advocates become Detractors – how to use them to transform your business

Why is it that even very satisfied customers can leave after just one poor experience?

Why don’t they hold the good experiences on account?

  1. It is through adversity that character is shown – Your customer is expecting you to be good, to deliver what you have promised. Meeting basic expectations gains you habit not necessarily credit. How you handle the situation when things go wrong will determine how you are truly judged.

  2. Demonstrating a desire to change is more important than recompense – I recently received £250 from First Direct after a 12 week fiasco to get a mortgage. They missed the point. I need to know what they will be changing that might lead me to consider them as a mortgage provider in the future.

  3. Often customers complain but get no resolution - Wanting to talk means that they still want a relationship. It takes effort to complain. It shows that rather than just walking away, the customer has enough affinity with the company that it would rather help improve things. This means you are hearing from someone who likes a lot of what you do but can shine a light on actions that might be losing you business.

I suggest spending more time talking to those customers who were your biggest fans and are now your biggest failures - this is where you will learn the most about how to improve your business. We recently ran a customer session with ex-customers and the Management Team of a FTSE 100 company. It highlighted 6 questions the business needs to answer in order to stop customers leaving. Make your ex-advocates your greatest advisors. After all, they want you to be an organization they can continue to do business with.

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