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Joanne Grantz
 
January 10, 2016 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM) | Joanne Grantz

Transform negative experiences into loyal customers

As competition increases, businesses in all industries must be prepared to deal with dissatisfied customers. In fact, research conducted by Zendesk showed that 40 percent of customers begin purchasing from a competitor if that company has a better reputation for customer service.

Wineries are especially pressed to turn negative experiences around because wine drinkers have so many choices. However, a negative review, email or social media comment doesn't need to be a disaster. Instead, wineries can leverage negative feedback as an opportunity to foster loyal customers. Here are four strategies to consider:

1. Respond quickly
You can turn unhappy customers into loyal shoppers by responding quickly to customer service inquiries. According to our white paper on creating a positive customer experience, you should always answer customer inquiries right away. By responding immediately, wineries can ensure customers don't abandon their carts for another online wine store.

2. Use a multichannel approach 
Today, selling wine online requires a multichannel approach to customer service. As a result, shoppers should have access to the following routes to customer service:

  • Email. 
  • Social media.
  • Live chat.
  • Phone service.

If customers cannot easily access help through their desired channels, they will quickly become frustrated and likely never return to your online wine store. It is also important for you to consider the impact social media has on customer service expectations. Customers are turning to social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook with greater frequency. With an effective social media response plan in place, wineries can leverage social media complaints as an opportunity to engage proactively with customers' needs and turn them into loyal shoppers.

3. Follow up
The customer service journey doesn't end once the issue is resolved. Instead, follow up with customers through email, social media or by phone to make sure their issues were resolved fully. For example, if a customer complained that a shipment was incorrect, follow up the same day the new items are delivered to make sure everything was correct.

4. Surprise and delight
Go above and beyond with customer service by surprising and delighting their customers. Rather than just following up, create personalized, memorable experiences that will keep customers coming back. For example, if a customer has been on hold for a while, send him or her a tweet apologizing for the long wait and offering them reduced shipping on their next order. Alternatively, if a wine order was shipped incorrectly, include a free bottle of wine or a small gift like a wine opener or book in the replacement order.

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