Do You See An Opportunity Here?
Unhappy customers can be bad news for any company, yet properly dealt with can become a huge benefit. It only takes one poorly handled one to ruin your day, and perhaps even your reputation. One handled well can do just the opposite.
The first rule is, “Don’t take it personal”. The customer may not be right, BUT, the customer is ALWAYS right; RIGHT? It could just be a “mood thing” on the part of the customer. Never let YOUR MOOD add to the problem. Some customers have unrealistic expectations, while others may have a legitimate complaint. The important thing is for YOU to make things better.
Here are some things that YOU can do to make unhappy customers your ally rather than your enemy.
1. Listen, and do not interrupt customers while they are venting. They need to tell their story and feel that they have been heard.
2. Say, “Thank you.” You do not have to agree to be thankful. You can say, “Thank you for calling this to my attention.”
3. Apologize: Again, you do not have to agree. You can say, “I’m sorry that you feel this way.” Do not attempt to lecture the customer, make excuses, or try to justify what has happened. Doing so will just make it worse.
4. Seek a Solution: Ask your customer, “What do you think we should do about this?” Oftentimes the customer’s solution is easier than what you might have in mind. Sometimes the venting and apology is enough.
5. Agree: Look for a solution that will satisfy the customer. The cost of the solution is most likely less costly than a tarnished reputation would be.
6. Do It Now: Show a sense of urgency. Your willingness to fix the problem quickly will do more FOR YOU than the problem DID TO the customer.
7. Follow-up: Make sure that what you agreed to do was done, and done right. A lack of follow through can undo all of the good you just created.
Remember; STUFF HAPPENS. It’s how you handle the STUFF that is more important than the STUFF.