The effects of a bad customer service experience? A lot longer than that. In fact, as this infographic from Zendesk suggests, a significant proportion (39%) of people will avoid using a company for 2 or more years after having a poor experience with them:
More to the point, perhaps, the people most likely to be soured on a company included women (45%), Gen Xers (54%) and those from high-income households (79%) – groups which represent an outsized proportion of most aesthetic procedures.
Ten years ago, that might not have been such a big deal. After all, what’s the impact of one lost patient and the few people she might tell? These days, though, it’s huge because there’s a good chance that unhappy patient will share her experience with others via social media and/or an online review.
And since 88% of respondents in the Zendesk survey said they were influenced by online reviews, it’s clear that the impact — on your reputation, your surgical calendar and the long-term health of your practice — can be significant.
Bottom line: While good customer service is always a good idea, it’s even more important when things go bad.
While most online reviews are positive, social media now gives negative ones an almost unlimited shelf life. Hence, it’s more important than ever to respond quickly, professionally and in a way that demonstrates that you’re sincerely trying to resolve the problem. When appropriate, doing so via social media — staying mindful of patient privacy, of course — can not only prompt the original reviewers to revise their opinions but can also provide insights into your practice philosophy and ongoing commitment to your patients’ satisfaction for everyone else listening in.