Of course, “the customer is not always right”. Generally, he is wrong. But that’s part of our business and we have to deal with it in a positive way. But some customers are wronger than others, and they are it more frequently.
We all know them: serial complainers. We have a special procedure to identify them immediately (hopefully). They are a real hassle. They complain 2, 3, 10 times about our replies to their complaints. They write us usually write ultra-long letters and emails (I found that serial complainers rarely call). In their vision, our company is a sequence of failures. For sure, they are not recommending us to anybody else.
So, why don’t they do us all a favour and switch to a competitor?
I don’t know, nor is it important to understand their reasons. What we need to understand is that we must keep track of them. CRM systems need to be configured to detect them.
Once you know who they are, fire off standard replies. Never get into a second round of correspondence over the same issue (but make really sure that you are not going to apply this by default to really good customers – only the really good ones – nor to those who came up with issues we really must address).
Eliminate them from our marketing database, never again send them a promotional email. No “sorry to see you go” email automatically triggered by the CRM system (I screwed that one up at one occasion…). Those customers can cost us a lot of money. I am not suggesting to pay them a psychologist, but it’s a close miss.