I know most of the things we read about bringing success to our business includes being forthcoming with ideas, thoughts, etc. And then implementing said ideas, thoughts, etc whenever possible. And that is true. BUT that’s not what I want to talk about today.
Today, I want to talk about how to handle those less-than-satisfied customers that you may have from time to time. While they may be rare (hopefully they are), they can also be a deciding factor in making or breaking your business. How is that possible? People who are unsatisfied with a product or service spread the information like wildfire. Why? Because they are mad, and they want other people to know about it. Simple as that.
So, how can you turn a negative customer experience in to a good one? With excellent customer service of course. But remember I said you should bite your tongue, right? What I mean by that is, think before you speak. Often times, if you receive an email from a dissatisfied customer, chances are your initial reaction is a bit defensive. “But I spent three hours making _________. How could they say it is of poor quality? They don’t know what they are talking about.” Or however else you may rationalize these things when they come up. You don’t want to say that to your customer, no matter how irrelevant you feel their claim may be.
This is what I would recommend. Take some time to compose yourself. Its hard not to take things personal when something goes wrong. That’s why our natural reaction is to get defensive. Don’t. Take a few minutes before writing a response. And once a draft has been written, press SAVE not SEND. Walk away and come back to it later. Make any necessary changes and remove anything that could be labeled as snarky.
Basically, you want your response to be as short and as pleasant as possible, while addressing all of the customer’s concerns. Remember, you don’t want people blabbing to their friends about how much you and your products suck. And if you say something rude, in writing no less, it will come back to bite you in the ass. Guaranteed. So, if you are at fault say so. If a customer wants to return an item, refer them to your shop policies, and give them an answer as to whether or not the return will be allowed. Same goes for a refund.
And lastly, make a kind gesture. Some people will agree with me on this one and some won’t. But I personally believe its important to extend a hand to anyone who is unhappy with your products or services (within reason). Try offering a discount off their next purchase; a partial refund; or even free additional merchandise if you feel inclined.
Bottom line. Make your customers happy, even after they have had a “bad experience”, and they will always come back. And that means success for your business.
Have you ever had to bite your tongue around a customer?
*image c/o TaraLynn