If you are a business owner, you likely know how to deal with unhappy customers. However, how you deal with unhappy customers greatly influences your company's reputation. Smart business owners understand that the management of dissatisfied customers can backfire. However, if you execute your plans correctly, you can resolve their issues and reassure your business.
As you can see so many communication channels on the Internet, you simply cannot afford to ignore customer complaints. But unfortunately, it is only down to the lack of effort from the business end that they overlook the importance of customer satisfaction scores.
Business owners must consider unhappy customers as an opportunity to elevate their business. They can also sense it as an opportunity to understand the issues regarding products and services they need to be made aware of. But, more importantly, they should try not to repeat the same mistakes in the future.
Best Ways to Handle Unhappy Customers
1) Adjust Your Mindset
Once you understand that your customers are unhappy, you must put yourself in the customer service mindset. In other words, you should put your emotions and opinions to one side that makes them feel that this isn't your fault. Making your customers feel they are giving undeserved criticism will result in an argument, and you may eventually lose your customers.
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You must accept that your customer is unhappy, and it is up to you to resolve their problems instantly. Therefore, you must have a fresh mindset and entirely focus on your clients and their current situation.
2) Listening Power
The most crucial step in dealing with unhappy customers is to listen actively. You must listen to and interpret your customers' words correctly as a business owner. Any lapses in communication will only increase your customers' problems.
For example, let's assume that one of your customers has come up with a query. You can start with a neutral statement, such as "Please let me know why you are unhappy." Such words can result in a relationship between you and your customers and let them know that you are ready to listen to them.
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You don't need to solve the problems immediately. Some queries require patience and analysis before you jump to conclusions. Instead, you should encourage your customers to tell their stories. More importantly, you should refrain from interfering while they are talking because this isn't active listening. If there are no interruptions, your customers' messages will be clearer.
3) Repeat Their Concerns
Once your customers have explained why they are unhappy with your services, repeat their concerns so you know that you are addressing the correct issues. If necessary, you can ask them questions to ensure that you are identifying the correct problem.
Being a business owner, you must use objective and calm words. For example, if you cannot fulfill your customer's demands, you can say, "We fully understand your frustration. We didn't deliver the samples that we promised you last week,".
If you resolve the queries after their reaction, it will make them feel that you were paying attention to their complaint. This approach can lower your anger and stress levels. Apart from that, it makes you accept the particular problem that needs to be resolved.
4) Show Empathy and Apologize
The best way of dealing with unhappy customers is to show empathy. Once you understand your customer's concerns, you must be emphatic and learn to apologize. You must let them know they are right to be upset with your services. If you cannot apologize to your customers, you have a self-centered approach to them and cannot accept your mistakes.
Regarding customer relationships, actions speak louder than words, which is why your body language holds significant significance. Being a business owner, you must ensure that your body language delivers understanding and empathy to your clients. For example, you can say, "We understand that you are frustrated, and we would feel the same way if we were in your place. We fully regret that you are disappointed with our services, and we ensure that these mistakes won't happen again."
5) Present a Solution
Once you have learned to apologize and show empathy, it is time to present them with a solution. If you understand the customer's problems and can fix them, you can tell them how you would like to resolve their queries. For example, you can say, "We will ask some of our clients if they have some extras to spare. If they do, we will deliver them to your doorstep soon."
You can give them the power to resolve the issue if you don't know what solution you should present or they don't agree with your presented solution. You can ask them to identify things that will satisfy them.
In this case, you can say, "If the presented solution doesn't work for you, we would love to hear what things will make you happy. We can discuss the potential solution in a meeting tomorrow."
6) Take Instant Action
Once both parties have agreed on a solution, it is time to take action immediately. Being a business owner, you must explain every step to your client that you will take to fix their issues.
If the customers have contacted you by phone, you must note their names and contact details. This will give them some authority because they can rely on you again if necessary.
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Once you have resolved the situation, you can catch up with your customers in the next few days to ensure they are happy with the presented solution. If it is necessary, you can even go beyond their expectations. For example, you can provide your customers with a gift certificate, give them a discount on their next purchase, or submit an apology for their dissatisfaction with your provided services.
7) Use Your Customer’s Feedback
When you are done with the customer complaints, you must reduce the risk of this situation happening again. If you are continuously getting unhappy customers, it simply means that you aren't learning from your mistakes.
If these situations are recurring, you must identify how the problem started in the first place. For example, a bottleneck can slow down the shipment, or the sales rep may have forgotten to confirm an order.
Identify the main cause of the problem and ensure that it gets resolved quickly. Moreover, you should continue to improve your practices. You can use customer complaints and feedback to improve your business management.
How to Convert Unhappy Customers Into Loyal Ones?
When you open a business, you aim to receive positive feedback and create a solid brand reputation. However, you can only be a successful businessman if you learn how to deal with unhappy customers and their negative feedback. By developing a thick skin and learning relevant practices, you can convert your unhappy customers into loyal ones.
- Regardless of your experience, dealing with professional customer complaints is difficult. Learning to stay calm and collected will get you through difficult situations and maintain professionalism.
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- If your customer is aggressive and angry, talk in a low voice and remain calm. This approach will lower the tension and ensure that the situation doesn't escalate. The lesser the tension is, the easier it will be for you to achieve peace of mind.
- If your customer has sent an email with solid language or is angry with you on the phone, you can meet them in person to resolve their issue. Dealing with unhappy customers in person dissolves anger because people usually don't show the same aggression on their faces. Moreover, it will also make your customers feel that you want to fix the issue instantly.
- If you feel that your customer is being unreasonable, you may get upset, especially if they are being harsh on you and mistreating you. Consequently, you should learn anger management skills to maintain composure in these difficult situations.
- There are certain occasions when customers become abusive towards you or your team. In these situations, you must draw a line concerning what you can tolerate and can't. There may come the point where you have to stand up for yourself. However, the best thing to do is to walk away from the situation and let everyone settle down.
- People on your staff will likely be your front line when dealing with unhappy customers. Ensure that you keep your emotions in control while engaging with your customers.
- Try to improve your conflict resolution skills, which will help you negotiate with your clients.
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Managing unhappy customers is not an easy task for any business owner. However, if you handle the situation properly, you can improve your customer relationship and create further opportunities for your business.
As a business owner, you must listen to the customers' problems and have the urgency to resolve their queries immediately. Show affection and ensure that your body language highlights it. If you don't know how to fix a situation, you must ask your clients what will satisfy them.
To deal with unhappy customers, you must have excellent customer service skills. Strikingly is a popular website-building platform that provides its clients with excellent customer service. In addition, Strikingly provides its users with a platform called 'idea forum' where they can submit their queries regarding the platform or discuss their problems with other users. By going through the different tips and tricks we have provided in our blog, you will understand how to handle unhappy customers and overcome difficult situations.