NPS Blog

Finding the opportunity in a broken chair

Pam Carpenter of Herman MillerIf you’ve ever had a job where you interacted directly with customers, you know how hard it can be to deal with someone who has had a bad experience. Frustrated customers engage in a range of behaviors, from mild protest to begging, bargaining, asserting their rights or importance, or simply enraged venting. Whether the cause was a defective product, a mistake or poor service, your gut probably told you to try to calm down the customer, smooth over the situation and move on.

In fact, once you finished with that interaction, you probably just wanted to put it out of your mind. Certainly, the idea of re-engaging that customer—calling back to discuss the situation, ask for details and learn more—was probably not high on your list of things you might enjoy doing. But sometimes that’s the only way to get to the root cause of a complaint so you can learn more effectively, repair the relationship with that customer and even address issues that might be more pervasive than you realize. Fixing the problem and letting the customer know—a process we call “closing the loop”—is a critical part of the Net Promoter System and a powerful way to build loyalty.

In the latest episode of the Net Promoter System podcast, Herman Miller’s Pam Carpenter returns to tell us about the progress the office furniture company has made so far. During our conversation, Pam reviews some of her team’s early experiences with follow-up calls to customers. She also discusses an interesting experiment the company is conducting with a customer who agreed to let Pam’s team observe his efforts to get a broken chair fixed, allowing them to see the complaint process through the customer’s eyes.

Pam has also been wrestling with some typical questions Net Promoter practitioners face at this stage of the NPS journey: How do you improve response rates? How should you address customer experiences that span multiple interactions? How do you improve the quality of the feedback?

You can listen to our discussion on iTunes or through the player below. Click here to browse more Net Promoter System podcasts.

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