Every business, no matter the size of it, will have to deal with unhappy and frustrated customers. And nobody will actually enjoy that interaction. Even the most successful companies that maintain a high level of quality sometimes have gaps that can impact customers. Now, it can seem like an awful situation that can hurt your business, especially when the complaint is made public. But you should not step away from that situation.
With social media allowing people to share their everyday activities, reviewing and leaving opinions about a business online is now easier than ever and it’s becoming the usual occurrence. Negative reviews and disgruntled customers shouldn’t discourage you. It is, in fact, a good situation in which you can find yourself — most customers won’t even go that extra mile of complaining, they would just stop doing business with you.
The way a company responds to complaints can impact greatly the company in terms of creating brand loyalty and reputation. Keeping in mind that customers that complain and have their complaints resolved are more likely to do business again with a company than people who never complained. This proves, even more, the fact that responding to customers complaints quickly and efficiently is a key to good relations. And future brand advocacy from your once unhappy customers.
So, before you panic at the sight of an unhappy customer, try to think of it as a good opportunity and something helpful for your business.
By using these 5 steps of handling your unhappy customers, you will not only turn them into happy campers but will make them into your most loyal advocates:
1. Make it easy for them to reach you
Being responsive is very important in this digital. So, having your social media, tickets, and emails under the watchful eye of your staff at all times is crucial. When you have an unhappy customer that just had a bad experience with your company, not responding to their complaints in a timely matter can be detrimental. Also, how can you turn this situation into something positive if the customers can’t even reach you?
Presence on social media is part of marketing and sales strategies for almost all businesses today. But some of them don’t try to engage in interaction and conversation with their customers. Failing to take up the opportunity in bringing the entire brand closer to the public. Most importantly, creating a strong presence in the online world.
In addition to the regular ways of communicating with your customers, you can also try different tools businesses use to improve their interaction with their audience.
2. Make them feel that they are listened to
There is nothing like showing your customers that they are valued and that they are being listened to. We often encounter companies that may appear to be working on resolving their claims. But in the way the issues are handled you can see that there is not much effort being put into it. It just appears as a pure mechanic way of dealing with unhappy customers. There is nothing like showing your customers that they are valued and that they are being listened to.
When a customer comes to you with a complaint and a negative experience they had with your company, they are in an emotional state which puts you in a position similar to one of a therapist. We hear from customer service representatives that oftentimes, unhappy customers just want to be listened to. They don’t need you to start firing up propositions for resolving the issue. Bombarding them with offered discounts, and other, they need you to listen.
Acknowledge that you understand not only the situation they found themselves in. But also how they felt since as we mentioned they are in an emotional state. Making them feel as they are in good hands and that their issue will be resolved with a positive outcome will make the entire situation much more stress-free for both sides.
3. Provide more than they are asking for
No matter how good the business and its product are, there will always be claims and negative experiences from customers’ side. Regardless of how regular is the situation in which they have found themselves you should never treat them as only a number.
Don’t propose the standard offer you always use in complaints of that severity or type. For example, just replacing the item that may be received faulty. Take the extra mile and see how you have turned one unhappy customer into your returning customer.
By giving your customer even just a little bit more than they are expecting, it will show them that they are respected. Who doesn’t like a little ego boost, especially when there was a stressful occurrence prior to it?
If you want to take a different approach to make sure your customers feel as they are listened to you can always see what other big and successful companies do. They have an amazing record of being customer-obsessed, are doing to win the points.
4. Continuously provide a positive outcome for complaints
You should approach every customer individually and provide them more than what they asked for. Do that continuously with all your customers. This way, the chances for delighting customers and turning them into brand advocates that will spread a good word about your company are rising.
Every negative experience for customers that took their time to complain to your company creates an opportunity for you to create a long-term customer relationship. Also, this way, by having continuous good outcomes with customers and their complaints, you are one step closer to building a good reputation. That will not only keep the customers but also bring in plenty of new ones.
You should learn from other companies that just rock in their customer service department on social media. And that provide transparency to their customers and the public on the way they resolve the complaints. So it’s even easier for customers to share their positive outcomes.
5. Learn from negative feedback
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”
– Bill Gates
As we dedicated an entire blog post to learning from bad feedback, it’s clear that we are big supporters of the thesis that there are no more honest customers than those that had a negative experience.
Listen to what the real problem was, try to see any patterns that may link this issue with any other that happened prior or that happen often, and — analyze.
Having an angry customer approach you with such a detailed explanation of what went wrong is an amazing opportunity for improvement. And you shouldn’t let it go, be thankful that you are given that insight. Besides linking issues to previous ones and figuring out what are the current issues, handling every complaint individually, and attending it with care, you will also be able to predict any future issue that may arise.
No matter angry are the customers that approach you with complaints. They are still human and they are able to look away from an error that happened if they were attended in the right way and with a satisfying outcome. As we said, every company, no matter how big or small it is, makes mistakes. But it’s in responding to those mistakes that will set a company apart from its competition.
In a market that provides everything anyone could think of, the customer journey that you provide is what makes you authentic and someone customers will create long-term relationships with.
MetricsFlare provides you with the three best customer metrics that will allow you to track their satisfaction with your product or company and also, you will be given insight into the difficulty of complaint resolution with using CES. Sign up today and access the tools that work for you to improve customer happiness.