This article was written by Michelle Weger.
Are you tripping over dollars to pick up cents?
My dream backyard is a lush, relaxing space full of plants with plenty of room for my Great Dane, Max, to run around.
My current backyard is full of rocks.
Nabil and I are in the process of turning our yard from an overgrown jungle of dead grass to the garden oasis of our dreams. This is a big project requiring a lot of patience, effort, and specialized equipment.
Purchasing a whole bunch of brand new equipment to use for one big project isn’t a very good investment. Instead, we did what many people do and found a company that we could rent from.
Given that we work with small-to-medium sized businesses, we try very hard to support local whenever we can. So instead of going to a big-box store, we found a company that rented equipment. Knowing this would be a summer-long project, we intended to rent as much from them as we could.
That is, until the rototiller incident.
One of the first pieces of equipment we rented was a rototiller. When we received it, it had a loose handle. We asked to make sure that it was okay to use it and were given the go-ahead.
So, of course, the final day we had the item, the handle fell off. When we returned the rototiller, they informed us we had to pay a significant amount of money to repair the item.
The item that was already partially broken when we got it.
The item that we paid to rent, that who knows how many other people had paid to rent, and that had the usual wear and tear you’d expect to find on an item you rent.
Can you tell I wasn’t happy about it?
We returned the item, paid the fee, and immediately went to a big box store to rent from them so we could finish the job we were doing. Which means instead of earning an entire summer’s worth of money from us, this company got a fraction of what they could have earned.
So what could they have done instead?
Even if we had accidentally broken the rototiller, this business missed a major opportunity to WOW their customers. If they had covered the cost of the repair, they would have earned more revenue and gotten a glowing recommendation from us because of the good service.
When something goes wrong on your customer’s journey, how you handle the situation can make or break their experience.
If you fix the problem for your customer, they’re more likely to:
- Feel appreciated
- Rave about you online
- Spend more money with you
- Recommend you to people who are looking for your business
Not every unhappy customer will leave a negative review. We didn’t. Instead, we just won’t go back.
We’ll give our money to someone else.
We won’t recommend this business to someone we know is looking for tool rentals.
Your customers won’t always give you a second chance.
You can scour your Google Reviews and Facebook Page for negative reviews and try to fix things after the fact, but you won’t connect with every customer that way. Timing is everything when it comes to handling unhappy customers.
Luckily, when you have an online business, you have more time to handle customers who didn’t get the experience they hoped for.
When we returned with the broken rototiller, this company made a decision right then on how to handle it. When you sell online, you have space to consider the situation and decide what to do.
Our clients who implement post-purchase follow up sequences are able to intercept unhappy customers before they get to the point of declaring never to return to your business. When you actively ask for reviews and feedback, you can open a dialogue with your customers and WOW them.
By creating a positive result out of a negative experience, you can step over those cents to earn more dollars from loyal, long-term customers.