What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

Susan Miller writes in the Columbus (Georgia) Ledger-Enquirer on the subject of dissatified customers.  You may have read some of these statistics before, maybe you haven’t, but they’re certainly worth thinking about.

Ninety-six percent of discontented customers never complain.

Ninety percent of these customers will not buy from you again and won’t even bother to tell you why.

Dissatisfied customers tell an average of 10 other people about their bad experience.

12% tell up to 20 people.

Miller continues, "And here’s the not-so funny part about that — as the story spreads,
it’s usually embellished along the way. Imagine that. Research by
Stephen J. Hoch at the University of Virginia found that more people
avoid a store because of someone else’s negative opinion than because
of their own experience with the business. ‘This storytelling has even
more impact on the people the story is told to than the people who told
the story,’ says Hoch. Now that’s scary."

The point of the article is this:  You should be asking every cusomer for feedback.  Did they find what they were looking for?  Did they have a pleasant experience in your store?  Was there anything you could have done to serve the customer better?

The big chains spend millions of dollars each year to get customer feedback.  All you have to do is ask.  Could there possibly be a better time to do your own "market research" than right there, on the spot, while the customer is still in your store?  No one should ever leave your place of business without answering these basic questions.  And, if any of the answers are negative, they shouldn’t leave until they’ve been satisfied.

Finally, don’t forget to add a sincere "Thank you for shopping with us".  We want that customer leaving with a smile on her face and that’s the message we want her to give her friends.

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