What to Do When the Customer Isn't Right?
Sometimes the customer is actually wrong. What happens when a customer is mistaken or completely off-base? An angry customer can be problematic for your insurance marketing. What can you do to maintain your reputation in the community when you have a customer who is angry at your insurance business?
Is This a Request That You Should Consider?
Some of your best ideas for products and processes can come from your customers. Your customer may not be right, but that person could point out a gap that needs to be filled. However, the opposite can also be the case. If you scurry around trying to fulfill all of the desires of every customer, you may not be true to your organization's focus. Listen to what the customer is asking and determine whether you can actually fulfill it. Is the customer pinpointing an important potential change to your business, or should the customer go elsewhere to fulfill this need?
Do You Need to Make Reparations?
Sometimes, the question is not about whether the customer is right, it's about how the customer feels. If there was a service expectation that you could not meet, you might consider ways that you can repair the relationship. For example, if your company's policy is to return all emails within 24 hours and the customer expected an answer within a few hours, that customer may feel angry. Your employees acted in accordance with company policy. However, the customer still feels wronged. Try to make amends with the customer in the hopes that this will make that person feel a little bit better about your business.
Review Your Policies and Procedures
Every challenging customer service interaction has an element of learning in it. Even if you can't satisfy this customer, is there a way that you can change policies and procedures so that this does not happen again? If the challenging customer service interaction was due to a misunderstanding, how can you make sure that your employees are clear communicators in the future? Try these techniques to improve the way you manage problems:
Adjust policy statements on your website or to policies that you articulate to customers
Change the processes you use when you work with customers, such as the reminders you give them or the ways that you introduce a specific product.
List specifications about your insurance products that you need to communicate in your insurance marketing.
Change your conflict resolution process, so that conflicts are managed quickly and well.
Are You Reinforcing Bad Behavior?
Have you ever watched a child have a tantrum in public? Maybe you were on the receiving end of such tantrum. When someone is having a tantrum in front of you, you just want to stop. However, it is likely that as a parent, you did not give into all of the child's requests just because that child was having a tantrum. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, "In the service-based technology industry, we see customers behave in all sorts of erratic and mystifying ways to get what they want because, well... it’s worked." If you have a customer who exhibits chronic poor behavior and you keep on giving the customer extra special service, that reinforces the behavior. While that customer may complain about your business, sometimes it is healthier to set a strong boundary and let that person go.
Consider Whether Your Employees Are Actually Right
Yes, you want a customer's business. However, make sure that this business does not come at a price. If a customer makes your employees very unhappy, you could lose valuable employees. Sometimes, the customer wants to speak to a manager. According to Inc.com, "It's especially important to balance the needs of your customers with those of your employees." As a manager, you must assess the situation and decide whether the customer is actually right. As business people, we've been told to treat everyone well and to strive to meet all of their needs. Sometimes, a customer who is chronically difficult is not actually worth the effort. It's better to be clear about who you are as a business and to support your employees than it is to keep one chronically-difficult customer happy. Customers who are unreasonable can use up your employees' resources and morale if you are not careful.
At American Agents Alliance, we understand the challenges of insurance marketing and all of the other elements that come with running and insurance business. Would you like to join a group of dedicated insurance companies and work to develop your business? Contact us today for more information about how American Agents Alliance can help your insurance business grow.