It’s easier than ever for customers to publicly share their experiences, and the way you respond to unhappy customers will determine what they say about you afterward. So what can you do to make sure that you properly respond to an unhappy customer so that you both experience the most pleasant outcome possible? And is there a way you can actually make unhappy customers helpful to your business, so that instead of treating them like a problem – you actually see them as an opportunity?
Yes, there is. Each dissatisfied contact has the potential for becoming your company’s best advertisement, a key referral source, and a stealth undercover operative – if you are willing to listen.
3 Ways to Turn Your Unhappy Customer into a Valuable Resource
1. Make your Customers Feel Heard.
Being unhappy or angry with a company or product puts the customer in a highly emotional state, so the first thing you should try to do is get them into a more agreeable frame of mind.
Often times an unhappy customer actually cares more about just feeling like they’ve been understood. But if you immediately jump to a resolution, the customer won’t feel like you’ve taken the time to truly hear their problem.
We all like to feel that we’re special, so even if the customer’s complaint is a common one take the time to make them feel heard. You can do this by acknowledging not just the facts of the situation, but also how it made them feel.
2. Do All That You Can to Delight Your Unhappy Customer.
No question, some problems are more difficult than others to fix – a moving company drops a valued antique, a supplier misses a critical deadline, the cable company drops the biggest game of the year. Sometimes, you can’t undo the problem, but you can always find a way to make it up to the customer. The degree to which you do so will go a long way towards converting your unhappy customer into your most vocal advocate.
Going out of your way to accommodate a customer’s needs makes them feel important, respected and in control. Whenever possible, try to give your customer even more than they asked for. By delivering even the smallest amount above their expectations, you can make them feel like they are your most valued customer.
3. Damage Control – Protect Your Brand from Negative Mentions.
There used be a standard formula that said when someone experienced poor customer service they would tell ten of their friends. That was before the internet, smartphones and social media.
In today’s instant-access, multimedia environment, one unhappy client can reach literally thousands of people, sending their complaint about your company viral. Sadly, negative comments seem to be more contagious than positive ones. You’ve probably seen video clips where customer service personnel aggravated situations by their rudeness; by not listening and not resolving the complaint.