How to Handle Unhappy Customers: Your Step-by-Step Guide
It may sound crazy, but what if I told you that your best feedback actually comes from your most unhappy customers? What if I told you that these chronic complainers could actually be the source of your most loyal customers? Well, you probably wouldn’t believe me but it’s actually true!
Now, of course none of us want to hear negative comments about our business, or even ourselves but, when handled right, these comments can be our greatest opportunity to become better than ever.
Being able to address concerns and take action is a strong sign of a business that is in the right place so let’s go through the steps you should take when the inevitable happens!
1) Record Meaningful Complaints
Complaints can come from a number of areas. Perhaps they voiced concern about a recent experience on your Facebook page, maybe they left a bad review on Google, they even could have made a huge scene in one of your stores. Whatever it is, don’t panic. Make a note of their concern, even if it is just mentally. Just don’t let it slip under the bus – the last thing you want is for this to come back and bite you!
2) Get in Touch
Once you’ve made a record of the complaint, now is the time to take action.
Time is of the essence here so you want to follow up on your customer before it’s too late. If it is too late, likelihood is you’re not going to sway them into coming back. However, like they say, it’s better late than never and in order to get to the bottom of this, you need to get in touch.
We’ll let you decide how to do this, but we’ve found the most effective way is to call them or even invite them to your place of work. Having someone to both listen and speak to will make them feel like their voice matters.
I’d say this is the most important step of the process, as you need to understand what your customer has to say. Don’t be passive-aggressive, don’t take offence, they’re not trying to attack you or your business, they simply have a problem and if we listen, we may have the answers!
Quick tip: always apologise! And never pass blame. The customer doesn’t care whose fault it is – they just want a solution and a promise that it won’t happen again.
4) Make Amends!
Okay, so you’ve had a chat with your disgruntled customer and you’ve got to the root of your problem. Now is the time to speak with them, find out what they feel will make things right and go from there.
Make sure to go the extra mile here as well, ask them is there is anything else you can help them with or if there were anything else they were concerned with. This opportunity is a gold mine for satisfying future customers so don’t let it go to waste.
If all things go to plan, chances are you’ve turned an unhappy customer into a loyal, raving fan and there’s only one more step in ensuring you’ve delivered on being the number one company around.
5) Create a WOW Moment!
This is your chance to turn this once unhappy customer into a raving fan. You get another shot! So once you have addressed their concern and rectified the short-coming, now is our chance to go above and beyond for them. Offer them something they were not expecting! Whether this is free access to your Spa for a day or a free accessory product – this can have a super powerful impact in assuring this customer continues to be one moving forward.
6) Don’t let it happen again
This goes without saying, but now that you know where you went wrong you now know how to put things right. Don’t let the same problem come around again, use their words to improve your service and you’ll soon see a greater number of happy, satisfied customers for your business.