How To Handle a Dissatisfied Customer
Unfortunately, no business is perfect. It doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put into crafting customer service strategies, or how many customer service consultants have combed over your practices with a fine toothed comb. Eventually, you’re going to have an upset customer. Sometimes this is for no reason at all, or sometimes it’s because you or one of your agents did something we’re all capable of: a simple, human mistake.
However, in the age of social media, one angry customer with a platform can be disastrous for a business. So it is important to know how to soften the effects of these situations before the consequences get out of hand.
Obviously, you can’t dictate the initial response a customer makes to you or the public about your company. You do have total control over what you do next. This is the critical step that makes the difference between smoothing over a problem before it becomes disruptive, or a public relations nightmare that just won’t go away.
Listen To Your Customers
It doesn’t matter how unreasonable you might think a customer is being. You need to make sure that you listen carefully to what they’re actually saying, how they’re feeling, and what they think your company did wrong. Even the simple act of listening can help an upset customer feel as if their concerns are important. This is often the first step towards a reconciliation. Also, remember not to take anything personally, as that will only escalate the situation.
Create a Benefit For Your Patrons
Instead of keeping the customer focused on their negative experience, give them a benefit to focus on instead. A free gift or a discount is a great way to help soothe an upset customer. It doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive either, just a concrete demonstration that you’re trying to make up for their bad experience.
Offer Money Saving Coupons
The problem with just offering a discount or a free item is the customer may walk out the door and never return. If you provide them with a coupon that is specifically designed to be used upon a return visit, it can provide the incentive they need to come back to your business. As long as your company keeps upholding its high standards of customer service, there is a great chance that your company will perform much better next time, leaving the customer with a positive impression once again.
Following Up Is Vital
It is important not to let customers stew in hurt feelings. Although you may be able to make things better right at the location the problem occurred in, a follow up email or phone call can show that you’re willing to go the extra mile to make sure the customer is satisfied with his or her resolution. Extra steps like this stand out to people, and can help turn an upset patron into a return customer.