How to Handle Customer Frustrations (When You Are the Frustrated Customer)
People like to buy products and avail of services from brands that have developed trust in to. Therefore, some of the most tragic frustrations happens when the brand you have grown to love, learned to trust, admire and develop loyalty suddenly performs sub-par from your expectations.
Today, the one of the nail persons in my favorite and the best nail care center in Iloilo has let me down. However, I refuse to judge the whole organization with just some unfortunate and frustrating situation. What happened today has left me pondering about the lessons that my frustrating pedicurist has taught me about the nature of brands and community management.
1. Brands, like humans, are not perfect
Every time I want my manicure and pedicure done, I would always go to to the same nail care center because I love the place, love their over-all service and developed loyalty in what they do. However, the great quality of service is not the same everyday and not all members of the company have the same level of expertise and experience. Others may perform better than the others.
There are times when your favorite fastfood store’s food may not taste as good as always. Your internet connection may be slower than most of the days. Your favorite flower shop may not deliver the same quality of flowers that you’ve always expected due to the volume of orders they’ve gotten that day. You see, everyday may not be as perfect as always. Cut your favorite brand some slack and instead of complaining right away on their Facebook page or tweet them nasty words on Twitter, just think and appreciate the several times they’ve given you the best service and satisfaction so you could look past the existing frustrating situation.
2. Sometimes your best isn’t good enough
Inasmuch as I would like to be pissed at my pedicurist because she has this annoying way of putting on the French tips on my toenails, I realized she was trying so hard to do her best. Yet, the thing is, sometimes other people’s best may not just be enough for customers.
Brands often get criticized for certain campaigns or products because people think they don’t actually deliver what they promise or that competitors are so much better. You see, competition creates an environment where consumers are free to analyze and compare which brand truly provides the maximum satisfaction. It should help brands and companies realize that they can’t be good at everything, they just need to be great at something.
3. Experience grooms the best teachers
They say that experience is the best teacher, I’d say experience grooms the best teachers. The nail person who was doing my manicure has been working with the nail care center for over 3 years while my frustrating pedicurist has been with the company for less than a year. Experience provides people an edge to do better at what they do. Sometimes, brands who have been creating products and working at the same industry for many years usually have the most trusted quality of brands. Throughout their years in business, these brands have already established their names and almost perfected their craft or know what strategies work best for them.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
When my frustrating pedicurist was taking off the tiny dry skin from my left big toe nail, it started bleeding. She then asked my excellent manicurist to help her out and try to stop the bleeding. The latter had several experiences similar to mine so she knew how to handle it carefully.
If you’re managing an online community and trying to protect your brand’s image, you need to understand that there are people who could handle the crisis better than you do. Don’t be afraid to seek for their help. Help often comes from the form of outsourced companies, hiring a consultant or probably getting an advice from those of your supervisors or more experienced colleagues.
5. Don’t let a single frustrating situation define the whole organization
Crisis and problems arise from time to time. Don’t let these unfortunate circumstances break the image of the whole organization. When one crew screws up, it need not to cost the job of those well-performing others.
Today was really frustrating because I had to endure a bit of bleeding in my left big toe. I felt like I don’t wanna go back to my favorite nail care center again. However, the experience has taught me about how brands and companies, which are consisted of people, are not perfect. It has also taught me invaluable lessons on grooming patience.
When was the last time you’ve got frustrated with a service or brand? How do you usually deal with it?