How to Earn Customers Back After a Poor Experience

BY Lucy Fang
Jun 08, 2015

Poor customer experiences (CX) are detrimental to a company’s reputation and sales. There is hope thanks to a new customer experience survey from the SDL. This study consisted of a survey of 2,784 consumers across nine countries and three generations, asking them about their most major CX failure in the last 10 years.

In the survey, 82% of customers who experienced a “worst CX” said they are interested in fixing the problem. Initial reasons for switching companies were a loss of trust in the company (44%), a poor quality of customer service (72%), and customer service representatives’ lack of knowledge (36%). This new research shows that 8 out of 10 respondents who switched stated that their previous service provider could have done something that would have kept them as a customer.

After a bad CX, 64% of customers will stop recommending the organization, start looking for an alternative, or actively disparage the company via word of mouth/social media.

This truly brings into play, “The good is expected but, the bad will go viral.”

How to get them back?

The study offered tips to regain the loyalty of those lost customers. The participants ranked the following actions in order of importance to the customer after a poor CX.

The company owning the failure and admitting its mistakes. Honesty is always the best policy, being straightforward shows the customer that, “Yes, we did make a mistake, and here’s how we’ll fix it.”

Offer a genuine and personal apology. It does not excuse your actions, but it makes people feel better. This plays into the human psyche of asking for forgiveness. “We’re sorry for the inconvenience and all that you, as a customer, have to go through.”

Lastly, the company giving discounts, credits, rebates on products/services where the failure was experienced was the final buffer to gain a customer back. Customers will always respond to free items or discounts. This is a tactic to bring them back in and get sales up.

Prevent Failures:

After experiencing the repercussions of customer experience failures, take actions to prevent any other mishaps.

Actually listen to the voice of the customer. So many customer service agents simply walk through the conversation with preplanned conversations. Listen to the customer’s complaints! Fix any issues quickly and make the customer happy.

Charting a course to avoid cx failure. By preplanning any issues you are outlining how the corporate members would like the problem to be handled. This makes it simple for any employee to follow the company design.  An example would be to offer a solution along with the problem.

Keep in Mind:

The times are changing. The study showed that younger generations are less willing to resolve a failure and will move on. 27% of millennials will not try to resolve the failure, baby boomers are more willing.

For more information on customer loyalty go to