Perks & RewardsDecember 13, 2011

No one wants to feel as though they have lost out on something, though in Business we know this is an inevitable circumstance; the key to keeping customers and clients when something goes off beam is to focus on the benefit.

We all have what we would call our favorite coffee shop or restaurant, which by nature of preference, we frequent. There are some key fundamentals in how they’ve become our preferred venue; the atmosphere, service, attitude and let’s not forget the delectable product. For most of us we associate this business with a positive experience and thus seek to relive it each time we frequent the location.

We may not always be able to pin point exactly why we go to these specific locations, but we can definitely perceive a preference when given an option. So what makes this place so fantastic? Is it that this particular place has never, not even once, given us the wrong change, forgotten our name, messed up our order, or had some other small blemish on their otherwise stellar record with us? No, chances are we have experienced one or more of these scenarios with our favorites more than once, maybe not that we’ve kept an account of, but none the less, the blemish has more than likely occurred.

So why is it that we still adamantly frequent the establishment? Well that’s easy. When those little blemishes occur, think about what the business did to correct it. Often times when little mishaps arise, the business or an employee of the business sets out to make amends.

If you ordered your regular beverage and you received the wrong one, an establishment may offer you a refund and or your correct order at no charge to the customer. At a restaurant the waitress or host might offer compensation for the meal, or give you a discount on the entire bill, things designed to correct the error andpromote a pleasant experience.

These types of corrections are designed to not only make a mends, but to turn an error into a positive outcome. Whereas people will discuss their preferences with others, an incident when someone made a blunder and sought to correct it, will stand out in a person’s mind to the benefit of the business that made the error.

A vital part of any business is to remember that in order to be successful and tune into the greatest marketing asset available “word of mouth” is to keep the customers happy and coming back for more positive experiences. If a customer purchased an item or service which was not to their liking or turned out to be not quite as thrilling as its description, you do not want these poor reviews noted on your record. The key is to take any negative experience and make it positive for the customer, and in turn for the company. There are many things that a business can provide as compensation to an unsatisfied customer. Dependent upon the necessity which best meets the business; the company could offer gift certificates, movie vouchers, merchandise with company logo (coffee mugs, pens, mouse pads, small calculators, and little tin mint containers), a discount on next purchase, and various consolation items of all kinds. There are many advantages to the company for making the transaction right. By correcting the blunder, the company benefits from “word of mouth”, a concept I touched on early. Word of mouth is by far one of the greatest tools available to companies. One benefit is that it is of no cost to the company, people who are satisfied with their previous interactions will then in indirectly “solicit” your company to their friends and family, cost free. This is a great way to introduce the company to people who are already going to a competitor or do not know that the business exists. What better way to try out a new business then to have a personal recommendation from someone you trust?

These same pleased customers are also the ones who will write raving reviews highlighting all of their phenomenal personal experience.
It is far better to receive glowing rewards then ones that will cast shadows on the business you’ve developed. When we make a mends for a wrong we have unintentionally committed, we’re establishing a long term relationship with that customer, one built on trust and loyalty. The trust comes in to play exponentially, when the customer realizes that they are a valued person and not just another face, they will begin to develop a preference to the company which has extended its gratitude. This is why making an amicable amends to any wrong is so essential to any business.