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Turn Your Unhappy Clients into Lifelong Advocates

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It’s interesting that a complaints feedback process can be described as an experience. But if you actually think about it, a complaint is a personal experience for your client. It is the first time your client sees how you and your team deals with conflict and negative feedback. If the complaint experience is positive, you will have a higher chance of turning a detractor client into a lifelong promoter.

For the financial services industry, implementing complaints experience processes will increase the service offering you give to your clients. How you treat your clients during a complaint process determines whether or not your client’s perception of you will change from a business that they want to work with again, to a business that has won them over for life!

Take Scott, Asendium’s CEO, for example. In the first few months of opening his financial planning practice First Class Wealth, he experienced a client complaint due to a simple miscommunication. Scott reflected, “I knew I had an opportunity to turn this client who was extremely unhappy and angry into an advocate. As a financial planner who was fresh to the industry, I was a little confronted by the unhappy client, however, I knew that if I was able to resolve this complaint effectively whilst still building a trusting relationship, I would have a promoter for life. So, I executed L.E.A.P and secured the client as a promoter who referred me business from there on.”

LEAP is an acronym for:

  1. LISTEN to the complaint.
  2. EMPATHISE with the client making the complaint and put yourself in their shoes. How would you like to be treated if you’re unhappy with a service or product?
  3. ACCOUNTABILITY is key for reducing the severity of the complaint. Hold you and your team accountable for the conflict. At the end of the day, if a complaint arises, it means that there is a flaw in your customer experience process.
  4. PROACTIVE steps need to be taken to ensure that this complaint is resolved as quickly as possible. Go that extra mile to ensure that your client walks away an advocate of your business.

This fourth step doesn’t just mean be proactive in resolving the complaint. As Jeff, Founder of Resonate Solutions points out, “Being proactive also means closing the feedback loop and implementing changes in your customer experience process so that the complaint doesn’t arise again. Complaints are like any other form of feedback, a conversation between you and your client. By keeping your engagements open and honest, there are no conflicts that cannot be resolved. And when we look at measuring customer experience across the board with our clients – the “complaints experience” stands out as a really unique opportunity. The emotional content of this feedback means you really have your client’s attention. Handled well, you can turn short-term detractors into long-term promoters.”

At the end of the day, complaints can be a truly transformative opportunity for you and your business to receive quintessential feedback about what they really want from your product and/or service. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on your experiences.

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