The Divine Advice for Retaining Customers

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"Loving benefit and hating harm" is a basic human law in all human’s psyches, and this law is the reason behind the world’s quick development. Everyone is seeking benefit and seeking the living environment that provides ongoing benefit so societies develop and living standards improve because of this law. But this law varies from someone to someone; there are selfish people who seek their own benefit only and don’t care about others. Those people are a heavy burden on their societies and societies don’t develop or advance over those people’s shoulders. And on the opposite side there are those people who seek their own benefits and others’ benefits as well, by those people societies develop and welfare prevails. Prophet Mohammed (pbuH) highlighted this when he said:

"No one of you is a believer yet until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself"

"ن لا يؤم ه ب لنفس ا يح ه م ب لأخي ى يح م حت أحدآ"

 

As long as any person feels he is getting benefits, he is happy and satisfied, but when he smells harm, anger is the initial outcome. How can you deal with someone’s anger? First, by avoiding its stimulus, harm always stimulates anger so try to avoid causing harm of any kind to anyone but what if you caused "by mistake" a kind of harm to someone, you should replace it with a quick and real benefit. That’s the magical advice that was provided by God to all human beings, God says in his holy book ‘The Quran’:

"Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!"

"ي حميم ه ول ة آأن ه عداو ك وبين ي بين ا الذ ن فإذ ي أحس ي ه ع بالت ادف"

 

It’s an advice that will turn someone from being your hostile enemy to your best friend. Let’s analyze this advice from a different perspective, from the Marketing perspective; this advice is definitely a customer retention rule. In the marketing world there is a rule that says "Every customer’s complaint is an opportunity to turn this customer loyal and retain him forever". Customer complaints are always accompanied by anger varying in degrees and are the outcome of a certain kind of harm that he perceives your company has caused him. Your company might be of the first type we mentioned earlier, those who care only about their benefits, and don’t care about external publics, which in my eyes will not last for long. But if your company happened to be from the second type, those who seek their benefit and other’s (stakeholders) benefits as well, and then this complaint might be the outcome of a mistake. You should replace this harm with a real on the spot benefit, this customer’s hostile attitude will turn on the spot to a friendly and thankful one, and the outcome is a forever loyal and retained customer.

In this context, I will quote a story that illustrates how a very well known company failed to handle a customer’s anger, on the contrary, they stimulated it to grow and took it from its slight stage to the severe stage and the outcome was the loss of this customer forever and the promotion of negative word of mouth.

This company is the regional dealer of many international brands; one of these brands is the largest heavy equipment manufacturer worldwide. The customer is an owner of a small tourist resort, his business is seasonal, which means during specific time of the year his business performs very profitably but the rest of the year it is average. With the begin of his profitable season the power generator of the whole resort mal-functioned, so he called the service center of the very big company to ask for help. He was told that someone would pick it up and take it to the workshop where he stressed that time is crucial for his business. They came after three days and diagnosis took three more weeks during which the client constantly tried to speed up the process without any feedback. After the three weeks the client is told that the generator needs spare parts that they don’t have (as a sole dealer!) yet will order from the US, which will take another month. Fed up the client requested his generator back, unfixed, only to be surprised by a shipping bill of 3000 pounds. By this point the client’s anger has increased from slightly to severe resulting in the decision not to continue working with this company anymore and repaired the generator outside for a fraction of the quoted price.

The big company didn’t care about the anger of its customer during all the phases that this anger took from the slight to the severe one. If this company provided a single benefit to this frustrated customer at any stage, his anger could have changed to loyalty and happiness. This company currently is using an international research agency to know why they are losing market share; I think the problem is very obvious without the need of a research agency.

Finally, human laws should be applied in the business environment because we "humans" are the owners of these businesses and our personal behaviors reflect on our business behaviors, then we should follow God’s advice in all cases, in our personal and business dealings as well to achieve welfare to ourselves and our societies.

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