Dealing with unhappy customers

Written on the 28 March 2014 by Macmillans Waller Fry - Accountants Maitland

All businesses aim to offer an excellent service; however, it is not possible to please everyone

Ultimately businesses will come across customers who are unhappy with the service and/or product they have provided.

By following these tips businesses can learn how to deal with unhappy customers in the best way:

Don’t react first

It is a lot easier to understand customer complaints once the problem is looked at from their point of view. Businesses should aim to put themselves in the position of the customer before reacting to a complaint and taking the time to consider why they have become unhappy. This will help the business to solve the problem, as well as showing that they truly care about their customers.

Acknowledge the problem

When a customer is unhappy with a service or product the most important thing is for them to understand that they have been heard. Simply stating ‘yes, I can see that there is a problem’ will go a long way in helping to solve the complaint.

Apologise to them

Don’t be afraid to be personal and apologise for the problem the customer has occurred. Even though the business might not see it as an issue, it is to the customer.

Be on their team

Employees should be taught to be on the same team as their customer, and to always offer to help even if the customer has made a mistake. This will allow the customer to see the business as an ally, not an enemy.

Have a plan

Ensure that the business has a set procedure for dealing with customer complaints. For example, apologise for the problem, if possible offer a refund, and offer an additional benefit. It could also be ideal to have a set strategy for specific problems. However don’t forget to personalise the service to the individual customer.

Use their insight

Unhappy customers can be a vital source of information on how a business can improve their product or service. The complaints given by customers should be recorded, and treated as a way to help the business grow even stronger, not as an annoying problem.

Author: Macmillans Waller Fry - Accountants Maitland
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