Conflict between business and customers. Decide without putting yourself in a vulnerable position

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In a crisis, clients tend to be nervous and often conflict with the business. We will tell you what to do to keep customers and stay afloat.

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Problems with dissatisfied customers are perhaps the most common example of business conflict. If the buyer is dissatisfied with the services and even wrote a negative review, it is too early to say goodbye to him. The conflict can really be resolved if you listen to the client and demonstrate changes within the business.

Oleksandr Vysotsky, founder of Visotsky Consulting, will help to understand the issue.

What is characteristic of current business conflicts

The time has come for companies that monitor the desires of consumers and know how to give what they want from them.

Russian society looks cautiously at the barely strengthened reputation institution. Stars and opinion leaders are forced to obey the rules of behavior in public space. However, in Russia, the reputation only took shape at the market level at the end of the 2010s. We constantly read reviews, compare products and services, and share consumer experiences ourselves.

The development of the Internet and the appearance of review sites moved the entire array of reputation into the virtual space. And the audience gained an unprecedented advantage over business. Companies communicate with customers on social networks, and this is no surprise. This is an established norm.

Brands make friends and swear with customers in front of the entire Internet. Therefore, the ability to manage business conflicts has become mandatory in both B2C and B2B.

According to Oleksandr Vysotsky’s observation, the consumer, with whom he used to work for many years, becomes demanding, defiant, and sometimes merciless.

“This is emphasized not only by me, but also by my client-owners. They say that consumers are much more likely to ask for a discount, special conditions, etc. Today, people think in terms of utility. When money becomes scarce and it is necessary to save, the consumer thinks about rationality with every purchase. Therefore, if earlier buyers closed their eyes to the roughness of your products, now they mercilessly cling to everything,” emphasizes Oleksandr Vysotskyi.

If the client does not receive quality service, he will probably not argue with the company for a long time. One in four will give a low rating or write a negative review, and 87% of customers will simply start looking for a new offer.

“Don’t think, it hasn’t passed me by either,” comments Oleksandr Vysotskyi. – As soon as the downturn in the economy began, we began to receive harsher feedback from customers. There is a good side to this. You have to break away from the usual, look at customer reviews, and this gives a huge space for growth. But if you look at demandingness through the lens of the world is imperfect, and my product is imperfect, you will fall into a trap. You need to see how you can use negativity and benefit from it.”

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Business conflict is primarily a point of change

Solving business conflicts is impossible without changes. If the current situation suggests the emergence of controversial situations, it cannot be ignored.

It’s hard to find a business that doesn’t want to achieve customer loyalty like Apple. There is something to strive for – 91% of the owners of the company’s products are truly loyal to their brand. In many ways, Apple owes its success to working with the audience. This is manifested in the friendliness of the services, the smile of the sellers and responsive support.

Business conflicts with the audience simply have nowhere to go – companies forgive even serious miscalculations. Case in point with the release of a Google Maps competitor. The Apple application led people to the wrong place, many were confused and could not navigate properly. In Australia, the driver accidentally drove into the Murray Sunset National Park, but the program assured him that he was in the middle of a busy city.

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Apple later deleted the original message, but the screenshots remained. Photo by flickr.com

Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized to users for errors in the new navigation maps. An open letter appeared on the main page of the corporation’s website, where Tim Cook suggested using Google’s navigator while Apple refines its product. This softened the effect and allowed the company’s reputation to stay afloat. The main thing is the convenience of people, and what service they use is not so important.

Oleksandr Vysotskyi admitted that his company had a lot of negativity. The point of disagreement was the time that clients spent on consulting.

“For 11 years, I have been helping to build a system business with the hands of its owners. But recently we have been receiving a lot of feedback related to their overload, – notes the founder of Visotsky Consulting. – That is why we are starting to reformat our services. We will restructure the implementation of business management tools in such a way that most of the load during systematization falls on managers and employees. In order to make such a revolution in our services, everything was ready 3-4 years ago, but these were separate programs. Only a careful deepening and immersion in this issue made me come to the idea of ​​reformatting services.”

Oleksandr Vysotskyi admits that he used to be too “orthodox” and wanted the business owner to do everything himself. However, during the crisis, the entrepreneur began to pay more attention to customer feedback.

Management of business conflicts

Create lines to get meaningful feedback, not just positive or sad emojis. Of course, this scheme also works, but it only shows general satisfaction.

Regardless of the type of business conflict, it is important to receive feedback from customers. It is often possible to resolve a controversial situation in its infancy without inflaming the audience’s discontent.

“In most companies, feedback is ignored or they are asked to complete a survey just for the sake of a tick,” Oleksandr Vysotskyi notes. – This is not how real feedback is going to work. It is necessary that someone from the company calls and asks normal questions. They should not sound like: “Rate the quality of services”, “Rate on a 10-point scale how much you liked…” etc.

It takes time to call the customer base, so it’s better to ask specific questions. The founder of Visotsky Consulting recommends following the following algorithm:

Hello, this is Sergey from company N. I am responsible for improving our processes. Please help me. Tell us what we need to improve in our services and our work?

Most likely, Sergey will hear something like “you’re all right.” With these words, the client says that he does not have time. Therefore, the following phrase should be:

I understand that you are a busy person. Thank you for appreciating our services. But please take a moment. If you could improve our company, what would you recommend to us?

Usually, after that, the interlocutor answers honestly. Oleksandr Vysotsky recommends answering in one table. Further, the feedback collected in this way is studied, recurring “pains” are selected, and points of change are sought.

“You will be amazed! Sometimes people need basic things. For example, change the packaging to a more convenient one, give an answer to a question they didn’t get in the store, so that coffee or chairs appear in the reception area, or even shift the work schedule,” Oleksandr Vysotskyi notes.

How to work with dissatisfied customers

Solving business conflicts with clients is better than an individual employee.

The founder of Visotsky Consulting does not recommend entrusting work with dissatisfied customers to sellers: “Usually an angry customer calls the seller and says: “Pete, how could you sell this to me?! The goods were not delivered on time, they were installed incorrectly! At this moment, the seller is shocked and cannot “fix” the customer, because he is not responsible for either the delivery, the production, or the product. He’s just a salesman who doesn’t even have the tools to fix it. In addition to all this, receiving negative feedback, your seller is simply demotivated, he can’t go about any burning eyes.”

It is very important that the dissatisfied customer feels that the business is interested in solving the problem. Moreover, nothing will work without the help of the client. All this requires time and special competences, accordingly, it is logical to assign such functionality to an individual employee.

At Visotsky Consulting, an employee of the quality department contacts clients. He listens to the person and together with him finds a solution to the problem. In many cases it’s enough to admit: “Yes, we screwed up, we’ll fix it.” But sometimes the only way to resolve a business conflict is to return the money.

“Understand, if the client is dissatisfied with something, you have already screwed up, you have done something wrong. After all, the business was not created in order to have dissatisfied customers. Very often, a call-in is the only way to get the truth about the real state of affairs in business. The function of collecting feedback, processing and responding to it should work in any company on a permanent basis,” summarizes Oleksandr Vysotskyi.

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