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And by then she’s long gone.  With the speed of technology and the expectation of quick and speedy responses high, I am so dismayed when I hear a business owner or a manager demonstrate a lack of sense of urgency in customer response.  Its almost as if they feel the customer is waiting on a bench somewhere just for their call/email to be returned.   be assured, the customer is dialing/emailing your competition as you ponder when you will respond to an inquiry or complaint.  High scores in the area of customer satisfaction are earned by companies who know and understand these 3 words – “sense of urgency”.   It is a philosophy that filters throughout an organization and must be part of your core value system.  If you as the owner or manager do not clearly demonstrate a sense of urgency regarding customers, you will find little attempt in your organization.

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Here’s how you do it: In the most significant area, customer complaints, and immediate response is the gold standard.  If a customer is upset enough with service from you to contact you, they deserve a response and resolution that is swift and satisfactory.  Statistics show that only 20% of customers who have a complaint will let you know about it.  The other 80% will just tell their friends. But that’s a blog for another day.  What happens when you allow a period of time (several hours to a couple of days) to pass before you address a complaint?  The anger that was perhaps a 2 on a scale of 1-10 escalates to a 9 or 10.   By the time you reach this customer, who by the way has had plenty of time to get angrier, you will have major damage control to resolve.

And what about those negative comments you get when you send out satisfaction surveys?  Hmmm.  Do you address the employees involved and assume all is well? Or do you take the complaint resolution one step further and contact the customer to get more information and express your concern?  Here’s the rule of thumb; if a customer is upset enough to write a negative comment about service, he/she deserves at the very least, contact from you acknowledging the issue and offering a resolution.

Remember, the longer you wait to get back to a customer, the greater your opportunity to lose that customer.  Nothing takes the place of showing a customer you care.

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