The Running of the Bulls

If everything ran to plan and came out right first time; if every client just loved doing business with us and went out of their way to tell their friends – we could all go home at lunchtime, with a bonus.

The biggest amount of time in most businesses is spent fixing the things that went wrong.  Including dealing with angry customers and replacing them when they leave.

You can call it productivity if you want a fancy word, but it comes down to the transactions that did not produce a well satisfied customer. Measured, most succinctly, uncomfortably, even brutally, in customer complaints.

Consider this: the customer who's raging like an angry bull, making your day hell, knows exactly what it is you failed to do. They can tell you how you got it wrong and why what you did enraged them. In graphic detail, if you're willing to listen.

If you run with enough bulls, some patterns will start to emerge. Common root causes. Many of them, you'll be able to fix, if you put your collective mind to it (see Innovation kick-start for how). It's not about always giving in*; it's about taking an objective look at what is actually possible and how you can influence client expectations to align with that.

A few of them you may realise you've been accepting clients inappropriate to you, who you could have avoided in the first place (and perhaps redirected to your favourite competitor).

Glide's Running of the Bulls service gathers and analyses the information gold of complaints. It can look further, to hidden dissatisfactions (the clients who don't rage and don't return). It traces common issues back to their root cause and makes practical recommendations that you can put into immediate action, to improve your customer experience, reduce complaints, increase efficiency – and profits.

Bonus: Being part of a job well done is one of the biggest staff morale factors. Deal with the bulls and you'll have a happier day too.

 

* Actually, giving in is a proven effective strategy. If you take a product back to Coles or Woolworth and complain, they will replace or refund it. Even if your complaint is unreasonable. These firms have built up systems that reduce the chances of that happening, so their risk is controlled, but they have also learned that the cost of arguing with a customer is greater than the cost of giving in, at least in their price range and market.  Perhaps it's too big a risk for you, but you should at least know enough about your raging bull customers to be able to make rational decisions about running with them.

 

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