A recent entry from Joshua Baer, a local entrepreneur in Austin, TX, on the subject of turning complainers into champions, struck me as especially appropriate given the season.? We're many of us experiencing how companies handle customer service issues right now: returns, especially, are an opportunity for companies to turn complainers into champions.? Delayed flights, or bad experiences traveling, likewise.
A hotel executive once told me that every mistake or customer problem was actually an opportunity to build on the brand by fixing it aggressively for the customer and engaging with them - that when customers *don't* complain, it is actually hard to win them over to being champions. I recently ordered a laptop bag from Ebags and when it wasn't quite what I was expecting, the return process was painless, and *free*.? I'll definitely consider ordering from them again.
Josh's experiences with OtherInbox serve as the examples for his presentation - and I can attest that their customer service is excellent, as I'm a user (and former complainer) of the service myself.? I didn't quite "get" how it interacted with Gmail at first, but once I did, I became a convert and I've recommended it to others, such as Keith Swenson. There are lessons to learn from this approach, even if you don't run a consumer-facing business.