Turning customer complaints into new sales

In a recent post, I identified different ways to find money and performance boosts. One of the statements was, “Instead of focusing on resolving customer complaints, measure the amount of new revenue generated from those complaining customers.”

Many organizations measure the amount of time it takes customer service representatives to get off the phone, or the volume of calls per hour or maybe even the number of customer issues resolved on the first call. But what about turning that customer complaint on its head and actually making a sale after resolving the issue. When their issues gets resolved quickly and to their satisfaction, customers are grateful. You have just removed one point of stress from their lives.

If you just spilled water on your computer and someone at Apple’s Genius Bar was able to fix it, wouldn’t you be open to listening about an additional warranty to replace your computer if that ever happened again, or some kind of storage device that automatically saves your data? Sometimes it takes a problem for customers to realize what they really need and they’ll be willing to take steps to avoid that problem happening again.

These are the types of opportunities that the best companies in the world look for and exploit.

Of course it requires customer service reps to have a different set of skills, but it also creates a new revenue stream and strengthens customer loyalty. What other opportunities can you find to turn negative situations into growth opportunities?