Although it’s not always an easy feat, turning an unhappy customer into a happy one certainly helps to differentiate you from the competition.
It can also help improve your reputation, earning you the chance of repeat and even referral business in your community. Here are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with difficult customers.
Unhappy customers are bad for business, sure…
A happy customer is likely to tell a friend about a positive experience, but an unhappy one is likely to tell three times as many. Using social media and other platforms, it’s incredibly easy for empowered customers to make their dissatisfaction publicly known, lay complaints and generally persuade other potential customers to change their minds about approaching you for business.
…But look on the bright side
Every bump in the road is an opportunity to improve. Take every piece of negative feedback you receive and decide how to use it to change something for the better. Whether it’s the products you use, the way you work or the finished products you deliver – there’s always room to improve your craft.
Have you got a ‘customer service frame of mind’?
‘The customer is always right…always have a smile on your face.’ Customer service mantras like these are often repeated but not easy to remember in every situation – especially when you’ve put time and energy into a project or even had work signed off on by a customer.
A more productive sentiment to cultivate is a customer service frame of mind, in which making the customer happy is the number one goal. It’s also worth
6 Steps to Taming the Unhappy Customer
Remember: mistakes happen – it’s how you deal with one that matters most.
Step One - Listen All any customer really wants is to be heard. When an angry client approaches you, be sure to stay neutral and listen to their whole story before offering a solution or jumping to any conclusions. The situation may be especially sensitive to them if you’ve been doing work at their home or office. Ask them to tell you the details and be sure to focus all of your attention on them. If a customer knows you’re actively listening to their grievance there can be a conversation on how to solve it.
Step Two – Understand Once a customer has explained why they’re upset, make sure you understand the problems and are able to repeat them. This helps to show the customer that you’re listening and have identified the problem that needs to be addressed, as well as
Step Three – Empathise People like dealing with real people. There’s nothing worse than feeling like someone is repeating customer service mantras when they should be responding like a human. If you run a small trades business it’s imperative that the customer feels like they can have an open and honest conversation with you as a person instead of a businessman. By telling a customer that you understand why they’re upset, letting them know you would be upset too and can understand their reaction – you’re showing them that you
Step Four – Present a Solution
Step Five – Make it Happen Communication is key here. If you’ve told your client what steps you plan on taking to resolve their problem, make sure you take action immediately and keep them updated. A lag in communication at this point could make the situation ten times worse than it was
Step Six – Exceed Expectations
And finally, keep an eye on your reputation
These days you can monitor what people are saying about your business on social media and by using Google Alerts to monitor the web for any mentions of your brand or industry. It’s also a good idea to ask every customer that’s satisfied with your work to provide a testimonial for you to use.
The Dickies Workwear brand puts a great deal of focus on great customer service as well as transparency – anyone can read reviews about the brand at Trustpilot to find out how customers feel about the service.