Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning

All of us strive to make our customers happy.  And, when they’re unhappy, it’s a clear indicator that something has gone wrong.

Of course, in these situations, it’s paramount that the customer feels you care. That you’ve accepted, there is an issue and that you’re taking action to resolve it.

But another part of customer retention that’s often forgotten is the opportunity to fully understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of what went wrong. Not only for your immediate customers but for future customers too.

I’m talking about taking the golden nugget of implementing lasting change!


Rip-off Britain


An example of this was covered in a recent blog. We discussed the deaf customer on Rip-off Britain who purchased a car breakdown cover and needed to know the text number; so that if they were to break down, they could make contact.

Despite asking for this on a number of occasions, they just received standard responses that didn’t answer their specific query.

The worst thing was this particular breakdown service did have a number of customers who could text – they didn’t communicate this fact to the customer. So, the consequence was that they ceased their cover – all because of one issue, communication.

In this example, you would have hoped that when the cover was cancelled, the customer was asked why. If they had, this information would have come to light, improvements could have been made, and small changes implemented to make the deaf customer journey work.

Two small changes

For example, two small changes that could have been made are:

  1. Asking the customer about their needs at the start, i.e. finding out they are deaf. Then, once that fact is established, ensure you clearly communicate the text number in all correspondence.
  2. Even simpler than this would be to ensure the text numbers are included in ALL correspondence to ALL customers, building accessibility into all of the journeys.

This article points out that, with a little thought, lasting improvements can – and should – be made.

So, as Bill Gates’ famous quote tells us: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

You don’t need to know all the answers, but if you follow this guidance, you’ll be much more able to provide for your customer’s needs. Ensuring they stay firmly out of the ‘unhappy customer’ file!