In 2019, consulting firm McKinsey published an analysis of what made customers satisfied. They were trying to answer a question. Is solving a customer’s issue quickly the only thing customers want? After all, many customers in different industries have issues that could take days or weeks to solve. Are those customers always going to be unsatisfied? What the consultants found was that if a customer felt well informed about the issue, it didn’t matter if it took a long time to resolve. Even customers who had issues that took three months to resolve, reported high levels of satisfaction if they were kept in the loop about the issue. If the customers felt poorly informed about the issue, it didn’t matter how quickly the issue got resolved. Poorly informed customers had low satisfaction. Communication mattered more than speed. Your customer expects you to keep them informed about their issue, so, while you’re working on solving their problem, keep in contact with them.
About This Course
Give your customer the information they want about their issue. Keep in contact with them while the issue is being resolved. Contact your customers based on the urgency and impact of their issue.”
Give your customer the information they want about their issue.
Keep in contact with them while the issue is being resolved.
Your company may have a process for how often they want you to contact customers. But if they don’t, you can determine how often you should contact the customer based on whether the issue is:
- Critical: Urgent and high impact
- Severe: Urgent or high impact
- Day-to-day: Neither urgent nor high impact
For critical issues, contact the customer every time something changes with the issue. If nothing changes, contact them at least every day to let them know that you don’t have any news for them.
For example, if your company’s biggest customer (high impact) is experiencing outages in their phone service (urgent), then you would contact them as soon as you sent a technician out, and as soon as the repairs were done.
For severe issues, contact the customer at least every third day.
For example, if your company’s biggest customer (high impact) needed to replace some equipment (not that urgent), then you would contact them when a technician was assigned to them, and at least three days after that to see if the equipment is working.
For day-to-day issues, contact the customer at least once a week until the problem is resolved.
For example, if a small customer (lower impact) had a glitch when trying to add users to their software (not urgent), you would contact them a week after you fixed the issue to make sure it’s still working.
All of these time frames are guidelines. You can contact customers as often as feels right for you.
For all of these interactions, finish the customer journey by contacting them one last time to make sure they are satisfied.
Time for a quiz: One of Brandon’s medium-sized customers, a bar and grill, contacted him because their point of sale system has been crashing. This keeps them from being able to run their restaurant. Brandon lets the restaurant know he has engineers resolving the issue (he expects it to be resolved in about a week).
Because the issue is not high-impact but is urgent, Brandon considers this a severe issue. When should he next contact the restaurant?
When should Brandon next contact the restaurant?
A. Tomorrow morning.
B. In at least three days.
C. When he knows the issue is resolved.
D. Next week.
B. In at least three days.
If the issue is resolved sooner than three days from now, Brandon can contact the restaurant then to close the loop.
Take the next step
If you have a customer that has been waiting for an update on their issue, contact them to update them. Then establish a regular time frame for contacting them in the future.