Be a Zero Risk Company with a Great Customer Loyalty Strategy: Screw Up First

Unnamed 1 1, The DiJulius GroupOne of the key characteristics of the top customer experience brands in the world is that they are ‘Zero Risk’ to do business with. A Zero Risk business isn’t one that never makes mistakes; every excellent customer service company drops the ball from time to time. The secret to what makes these top brands Zero Risk lies in their customer service training; specifically, how well they have trained their employees to make it right when things do go wrong. In other words, Zero Risk means peace of mind for the customer.

A lot of organizations force their customer-facing employees to hide behind company policy. The policy is a word that tends to create a negative experience. During customer interactions, customers hate hearing the words, “Our policy is…” They understand that policy was created to protect the organization from being taken advantage of by the customer.

Take an objective look at your rules of customer engagement and stop punishing 98% of customers for what only 2% do. Instead, train your employees to have charitable assumptions, which means giving customers the benefit of the doubt. In addition to it being the right thing to do, it is a fantastic business strategy for building customer loyalty and enhancing customer lifetime.

A Brilliant Comeback: Proven Marketing Strategy for Growth and Customer Retention

When a problem arises with a customer, it gives us the opportunity to own that customer for life.

Brand loyalty often results from screw-ups, i.e., from how well a company handled a situation that initially went wrong. It is a fact that a high percentage of customers will do more business with a brand after a positive resolution was made to a problem.  This is known as the Service Recovery Paradox, which is where the customer actually becomes more loyal to the brand than if the initial mistake had never occurred. It may sound counterintuitive, but the handling of problems can and should be part of your customer retention strategy. An unhappy customer quickly moves on. A happy customer is a loyal customer. And with acquisition five times more costly than merely keeping customers around, a healthy customer retention rate is very good for your bottom line.

*Related – How to be a Zero Risk Company

It’s a proven fact that customers can often be more loyal to your business after they have experienced a service failure, than if it had never happened in the first place. The graph shows customer loyalty over time. When things go wrong, you can see that line taking a big dip as a problem occurs and that loyalty starts to disappear. If your business deals with it well, you can clearly see the effect of customer satisfaction on loyalty growth.

New research from Stella Connect supports this. It was discovered that 97% of consumers across the U.S. and U.K. say that if a brand turned a poor customer service experience into a positive one by solving their problems immediately, they would do business with that brand again.

*Related – Top 4 Customer Service Trends for 2022

*Related – When faced with an upset customer, your employees should do the LEAST

Legendary Examples of Businesses Experiencing High Customer Satisfaction

Being at zero risk also tends to create heroic, legendary stories about your business which get shared amongst employees, customers, and on social media. For example, I have worked with The Ritz-Carlton Hotels and have heard numerous epic tales such as the following. When a guest tried to check-in upon arrival and their room wasn’t available and the hotel was fully booked, a Ritz-Carlton team member booked and paid for that guest’s hotel room at their nearest competitor.

This clearly went far beyond the average customer experience. No company can make customers happy 100% of the time, there is no mobile app for that. But greatly exceeding customer expectations can be part of every company’s marketing strategy and business model. Putting guests’ needs first, always, is a sure way to not only build a strong customer base but to greatly reduce churn rates.

*Related – How KeyBank Made a Brilliant Comeback After Frustrating Customers

Unnamed 2, The DiJulius GroupAnother great example of brilliant service recovery is found in the Starbucks customer service experience, which also goes the extra mile. Baristas are trained to give a card to inconvenienced current customers:

We apologize if your Starbucks experience was anything but wonderful. The next time we see you, please enjoy a beverage, with us.

With every complimentary beverage, customer relationships are strengthened in real-time. Such personalized experience–a reflection of the company’s customer service vision statement–leads to the right kind of customer feedback and enriches the customer lifecycle.


Take These Steps for Building a Zero Risk Brand with a Strong Customer Lifetime

To build a Zero Risk brand, you need to realize where you drop the ball the most, implement systems that reduce occurrences of those service defects, and create corrective protocols, training your employees on these protocols which they can use to make things right.

*Related – How Easy do You Make it for Your Customers to Complain?

Organizations can achieve greatness when their employees are allowed to do unexpected things—to show initiative and creativity, to step outside the scripted path. That is when the most delightful, interesting, and amazing results occur.

*Register for our New Customer Experience Executive Academy Class starting this fall

Episode 81 of the CSRevolution Podcast How to Reduce Customer Rage

Quote of the Week

“Too many leaders are more sales-centric than customer-centric.”

CX Video Clip of the Week

When faced with an upset customer, your employees should do the LEAST

*Become a licensed Customer Experience Coach ­­

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2022 CSRevSpeakers 4 Scaled, The DiJulius Group

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Diversity Training Workshop

Are you seeking diversity knowledge (and shouldn’t we all be)?  One of our 2022 CSRev presenters, Jess Pettitt, is known for approaching tough subjects.  This May 25th, she is offering the opportunity to participate in an Even Better Diversity Training Virtual Reckoning Event. This live series of workshops will benefit the George Floyd Memorial Foundation and The Privilege Institute. Topics will include:

  • Diversity and Social Justice: A Starting Place
  • Unconscious Bias: Perceptions of Self and Others
  • Messages I Learned: Race, Racism, and Whiteness
  • Working Across Difference: Making Better Connections

Register for the Even Better Diversity Training Virtual Reckoning Event on May 25th 2-6 pm pacific 6k value for $500.


About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.