Monday, October 29, 2007

Winning the Battle but Losing the War

Have you ever found yourself fighting real hard to win an argument, then after winning it you feel like you made a mistake. You realized that it really wasn't that important to win that argument...your relationship with the other person is more important.

The same is true when dealing with customers. In a recent survey, 98% of all dissatisfied customers said they were not dissatisfied because of a quality problem with the product or service purchased. In 98% of the cases their dissatisfaction was related to their perception of how they were treated by the people they dealt with.

One more time... note that they said their perception of how they were treated not how they were treated. This is very significant. It means that in some, maybe many of those cases, the employees involved actually treated the customers fairly, courteously and tried to do the best they could. However, what they did is not the issue. It's how the customer perceived what they did that counts.

Customer service diplomacy has to do with controlling the customer's perception. In other words, being right is not as important as winning in the relationship with the customer. This tells us that the #1 reason why businesses lose customers is their perception that they were treated discourteously or unfairly by the company's people with whom they interacted.

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