As much as every business would love for each of its customers to have an excellent experience each time they do business with them, in the real world, that’s not always how it works. Even the best brands and businesses have customers who, from time to time, have a less-than-positive experience – for avariety of reasons. So, here are seven tips for how to recover when a customer has a bad experience with your business.
1) Address the Complaint Quickly
Today, a customer may complain at the time of service or wait to make a phone call or email the business. Whenever and however a customer contacts you about a negative customer experience, it’s important to resolve their issue directly and as quickly as possible, for a number of reasons. First, you want the customer to know you care about their business and want them to return, so being quick to resolve their problems helps them feel more positive about your company while they are most concerned about their experience. Also, quickly resolving customer issues is critical in helping keep negative reviews about your company from showing up online. That’s because often, customers turn to review sites, social media outlets, or even blogs to express their frustration about a bad customer experience. So, not only does quickly resolving their issues help make the customer happier – it can also help nip negative reviews in the bud, protecting your online reputation.
2) Identify the Root of their Complaint
When a customer complains about a bad experience, they may mention a variety of issues when they speak with you. They may wander off topic and also share about their overall bad day, or an awful experience with a competitor, or anything else that’s on their mind. But, it’s important to respectfully listen to what they have to say, paying careful attention to the specifics they mention pertaining to your business. Did you miss your appointment window? Were your products or services below the level of quality the customer anticipated? Were they overcharged for their purchase? Did your staff or partners provide poor customer service? There are many potential issues that can arise, but it’s important to identify the root of the problem so you can respond to their specific issue and not just offer a blanket response to any and all complaints.
3) Offer a Resolution Immediately
If a customer is unhappy with your products or services, try to solve their problem and make sure their anger is resolved as soon as you hear about it, before they ever leave your business or, for service companies, before you leave them. The longer it takes for their issue to be resolved, the more upset they are likely to become. To make sure you can consistently offer immediate resolutions to customer complaints, create a system, procedure, or policy for each of the different types of bad customer experiences your business has faced so that you’ll have a go-to way to handle issues as soon as they arise.