Silent customers are those who do not make complaints when they experience bad customer service. According to 1Financial Training Services, 96% of the unhappy customers do not complain and out of those 91% leave the company and never come back. Silent customers might not convey their problems to the company but they do voice their opinions to people close to them.
Businesses generally rejoice when they notice that some of their customers have not been making any complaints but what they don’t realize is that this might not be a reflection of good service. Silent customers are rarely a good sign and should not be ignored at any cost.
The Silent Customer, a consultancy business, collects customer feedback and offers it to businesses in order to help them improve their service. Recently, it conducted a survey and found out that most of the time businesses are often mistaken when it comes to gauging their popularity with the customers. According to the survey, only 50% of the customers would tell the business if they have had a disappointing experience while businesses suppose that there have been no complaints because the customers have received exceptional service. If businesses equip themselves with a more proactive approach to reach out to customers, this can be easily rectified.
A company should see silent customers as a chance to improve itself and provide them with exceptional service. It is also a great chance to get back some honest feedback which can help the business improve operations. It is essential to not get defensive and listen to the customers in order to identify where you are lacking.
Customers do not just suddenly leave a company, the decision to leave comes from constant failure by the company in providing the desired level of service. According to the Accenture Global Customer Satisfaction Report published in 2008, customers are more likely to leave because of bad customer service as compared to having monetary issues.
Companies need to understand the importance of customer service when dealing with customers. Silent customers are not likely to create scenes or even raise issues, they would be dormant until they decide to sever ties with a company. It is easy to retain silent customers by reaching out to them and simply hearing out their problems. Companies can find common ground and assure them that they will be treated well in the future and that the company realizes that mistakes have been made at its end. It would also be in the company’s best interest to come up with immediate yet long-lasting solutions to reassure the customer that they would not be going back on their word. Offering incentives is also a good strategy to make amends, they make the customer feel valued and this would ultimately work in the interest of the company.
According to Bain & Company, the cost of acquiring new customers is 6 to7 times more than retaining an existing one. Retaining silent customers is quite a task but companies should try to win back customers through any means necessary. Companies should keep the customers in the loop regarding future operations as well as current ones. Tell your customers about the way the company works and why certain operations take longer than most, create transparency so that customers can trust you, this would increase customer loyalty and the customers would feel like they are a part of the company.
Once you have identified your silent customers make sure that you check up on them regularly and ask them how you can improve your services to facilitate them better. Taking into account the opinions and suggestions of customers often not only strengthens the relationship between the company and the customers but it also helps the company improve their customer experience. In a nutshell companies should build a comfortable relationship with the customers in order to facilitate them.
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