What to do when your customers go from engaged to enraged.
The advent of social media has ushered in a new customer service paradigm. Interactions between a business and its customers — positive or negative– are now part of a company’s narrative thanks to platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
For businesses, this presents an opportunity to engage with its customer base and obtain feedback on its products and services. Under normal circumstances, this is a good, even great, thing. But, when a customer turns from engaged to enraged, a business is often caught off-guard, especially if a customer chooses to vent his or her frustration publicly. An angry customer is a scary thing; an angry customer on Twitter or Facebook is terrifying.
Dissatisfied customers present a unique challenge to franchises. Negative feedback expressed publicly can not only tarnish the reputation of the local outpost, but also influence a potential customer’s perception of the brand overall. As Forbes reported earlier this year, “when you make a decision to choose one brand over another, you’re influenced more by the company’s reputation than any particular product it offers.”
So how do you manage your reputation, keep your customers happy, and protect your bottom line? Satmetrix has a suggestion: put your net promoter score to work.
There are three types of customers: promotors, passives, and detractors. Customers that support and advocate for your brand are promoters. Those that support your business but aren’t telling their friends and family about you are considered passives. Customers that speak out against your business due to a poor experience are labeled as detractors. A brand’s net promoter score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters and provides a company with a numeric indication of its customer base’s level of satisfaction.
Traditionally, a net promoter score was calculated through surveys, which have become so ubiquitous they’re ineffective. Fewer and fewer customers care to respond to surveys because they get so many. Spark Score, a program from Satmetrix, surveys what customers are already saying by sweeping the Internet and social media.
At this point, the folks at Satmetrix decided to go a step further. After the net promoter score has been calculated, more questions are asked. In doing so, Satmetrix is able to draw a correlation between the net promoter score and what’s causing a customer to recommend your brand or, in some cases, to not recommend your brand. The goal is to identify the moment that franchises (and other businesses) are dropping the ball in order to fix the underlying error, improve overall customer relations, and ultimately win customers back.
A recent study performed by the Gallup Business Journal indicates that bringing on new customers is about emotion, not price or product. It costs more money to woo a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. In addition, satisfied existing customers spend an average of 2.6 times more than one that’s relatively satisfied and 14 times more than one that isn’t satisfied.
In the graph below, total revenue is represented by the total sales from passive and promoter customers in a nonexistent company. Total potential revenue represents the total sales from promoters, passives, and detractors who have returned as passive customers after having their customer service issues resolved. On average, the difference between the total and total potential revenues each month is $9,333.
The way Satmetrix has designed their program gives franchises the ability to assign each customer type a value, placing into perspective the real cost of a dissatisfied customer. In the case of the nonexistent company above, one detractor equals 2.6 passives and 1 promoter. So, when you lose a customer due to a poor customer service experience, you may need two customers to make up the difference in lost revenue.
At the end of the day, it’s more than the loss of a customer and sales; a detractor also has the ability to turn potential clients into detractors before they’ve even become a paying customer. When you’re looking to try a new restaurant or need help mowing your lawn you turn to family members and your friends for recommendations. The same applies to every business.
Satmetrix hasn’t stopped at creating a better net promoter score or helping companies assign a value to each customer type. With Satmetrix, sales teams can respond to customer service emergencies in real-time, assuaging a dissatisfied customer’s frustrations before they’ve said sayonara and been welcomed with open arms by a competitor. It’s also at this point that Satmetrix can help companies identify exactly where they’re going wrong in the sales process. As Carol Tice of Entrepreneur magazine points out, two of the best ways to keep angry customers from storming out and never coming back are reaching out via social media and fixing the broken policies.