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Mar 15
2019

Fix Customer Problems

Posted by: Steve Marr

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King David wanted to make things right with the Gibeonites, a tribe Saul had wronged.  Scripture says that “David asked the Gibeonites, ‘What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the LORD's inheritance?’" (2 Samuel 21:3, NIV) 

Every business and the individuals who run them will occasionally fall short. A key question is what we do in those circumstances. In the situation scripture notes, David did not just walk away or make an arbitrary decision based on what he felt the wronged tribe should receive. He asked. He wanted to know what they thought should be done to make reparation for the wrong. 

 

We need to ask our customers the same question rather than assume an answer.  

A customer ordered several books from my website and there was a technical glitch, likely on my end.  It prevented downloadable resources from being delivered. My customer was understandably frustrated. At the time I was having some difficulty getting the download function to work properly. I took down my order system for a while until I could correct the function.  Then, I asked the customer what they would like.  They asked me to send to Australia hard copies of the books they tried to download.  Obviously, this created a serious loss for me on the transaction, but I felt it was necessary to make my customer happy and fulfill my commitment.

In another situation, I was using a dry cleaners service on a regular basis. The cleaners lost two of my shirts. After verifying receipts, the cleaners agreed they had lost them; but refused to give me replacement value for the shirts because it was “too costly.” At the time I did quite a bit of business with the cleaners because I wore business suits with white shirts every day. As a result of the dry cleaners’ negligence, I found a different dry cleaner.  Given the profit margin is high on dry cleaning, my original cleaners would’ve been wiser to pay for the lost shirts.

In business I have learned that we reach what I call a moment of truth for customers.  Something goes awry and, in those circumstances, we can step up to accept responsibility, fix the problem for the customer and lock in the customer long-term. If we fail to step up, the customer will leave; and our reputation will go downhill.  Fix customer problems and grow your business.

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