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Are your customers happy? Are you sure? 

By CCIWA Editor 

Warning – even if you customers don’t complain, it doesn’t mean they are happy.  

Although it’s far from an exact science, surveys indicate up to 90 per cent of unhappy customers will not complain. At least not to you. 

This means, for every complaint there may be another nine or so unhappy customers out there who have just walked away.  

So, take each complaint seriously. It probably represents a problem many others are experiencing.  

And – although your toes may curl at the thought – you should encourage complaints.  

The major reason people don’t complain is a perception the business will not care about, or address, their issue.  

Change that perception by providing easy avenues for people to contact you – via phone and email – with good or bad feedback.  

Promote these feedback lines prominently on your website. However, there is a caveat. If you invite feedback, you must devote resources to monitoring and following up.  

A quick way to infuriate customers is to ask for their opinion, then ignore it.  

Imagine going to a networking event, asking someone a question then walking away as they answer. It’s the same thing.  

Remember, studies indicate customers who have had problems resolved quickly and effectively display more loyalty towards a company than customers who have never experienced a problem. 

Happy customers are core to your business. Here are a few facts that underline why:  

  • A happy customer in Australia will tell, roughly, nine people about your business. An unhappy customer will tell 18 people.  
  • More people (about 84 per cent) regard a referral from a friend as the most trustworthy form of “advertising”, with referrals estimated to account for around 65 per cent of new business. 
  • Retaining customers boosts profits, as businesses have a 60-70 per cent probability of selling again to an existing customer, but only a 5-20 per cent probability of doing business with a new prospect. 
  • Australians report they would be willing to spend around 12 per cent more for the same product or service if it comes with excellent customer service. 
Warning – even if you customers don’t complain, it doesn’t mean they are happy.  

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