Dealing with a Disappointed Customer
It goes without saying no one is perfect, everyone can make mistakes, or sometimes technology does not run as smoothly as we would hope. This can lead to your customers feeling disappointed.
Not only is it important for the customer to resolve this problem but also important for the business’ longevity. Leaving this customer with a bad experience can stop any future business being done with them and anyone else they may tell about their experience would be reluctant to do business.
We have put together a process you can follow to help you deal with disappointed customers and make sure to get the best outcome for them and your business.
Firstly, you want to hear your customer out. Let them fully explain what their problem is. Trying to cut in and interject too much at this point can sometimes make the customer more annoyed. Actively listen and make sure to take note of all the key points the customer is making.
Understand and Empathise
Once you hear the full situation from your customer take a second to be in their shoes. Try to get a feeling of the situation and see their point of view. This can really help you understand the situation and empathise with how the customer is feeling. Being able to express this empathy and understanding can help the customer feel listened to and also if they have been quite angry on the phone this can calm and reassure them. Knowing how the customer felt will also give you a better perspective on what might be appropriate to resolve the issue.
To show you have been listening to the customer repeat back a brief summary of why the customer is disappointed. Make sure not to place blame on anyone and show understanding when repeating this back. It is also important to apologise to the customer; this shows to the customer you are taking responsibility. This also gives the customer time to hear back what they have told you and add in anything they feel they have missed or to help you understand their point more if they feel you got something wrong. It becomes a collaborative process to work out fully what the problem has been and how it can be resolved.
Now it is time to come with a plan which works for the customer and the business. It is at this point you have the opportunity to change how the customer looks at your business. Will they see you as being helpful and coming up with a good solution or will they see you just looking after yourselves. If you are able, try to offer the customer some form of compensation, or say you will look into what compensation they may be able to get. This does not always need to be a refund, depending on your business it could be vouchers or an agreement to re do the work. Make sure whatever you agree, the customer ends the phone call feeling like a resolution has been made or is in the process of being made.
You have now resolved the problem and the customer has went away happy with how everything was dealt with. Now though it is important to follow up and ask the customer for any feedback. This can help the customer see you have not forgot about what has happened and you are looking to improve your services. From this you can help train staff or look at your system that may have caused the initial problem for the customer.
Taking all these points into consideration when dealing with a complaint should help make it a little bit easier to deal with an irate customer.