Do These 3 Things BEFORE You Solve Your Dissatisfied Customer’s Problem

Happy customers tend to share their positive experience with five people. Unhappy customers? Nearly double. On top of that, it’s well documented that humans’ need for security often trumps their need to try new things. So in other words, when Negative Nancy complains to her friends about your business, her friends will pay closer attention to her than they will to Positive Paul, who is raving about your business. Let’s take a look at how we can keep Nancy happy so that she doesn’t run an “anti”-marketing campaign against your business.

3 Tactics To Precede Problem Solving

Be thankful that your dissatisfied customer has reached out to your support team. This could be your chance to make things right before they share their experience with others. However, before you hit the refund button, it is critical to first emotionally connect with your customer using these three steps:

  1. Be Quiet and Listen: When something has upset your customer enough that they are reaching out to you for resolution, then he or she needs to feel truly heard. As they divulge their problem, it is human nature to either want to jump in and empathize or defend. Yet simply letting your customer vent, uninterrupted, for a few minutes is one of the most important steps in helping to diffuse their negative emotions.
  2. Apologize Using This Formula: Once your upset customer has truly been heard, they need to hear an apology on behalf of your company. An optimal apology is one that places the blame on a “service breakdown” rather than on any one specific person, product, or process. Why “service breakdown”? By saying something along the lines of “I apologize for the service breakdown.”, you are implying that your customer’s negative experience is an anomaly in an otherwise functional system.
  3. Reflect Their Experience Back To Them: Here, their experience should be restated back with layers of empathy. For example, “Ms. Customer, I know you went to great lengths to make sure we got this order right and we delivered it incorrectly. It was an utter failure. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. How can we make this right for you” This is the icing on the cake, and solidifies that they have been heard, understood, and cared for.

After connecting emotionally with your customer using the steps outlined above, it makes sense to proceed with a tangible resolution, such as a refund or discount or some other measure of restitution. Resolving customer issues promptly and the right way lead to loyal returning customers. Do all of your employees understand the value of GREAT customer service and problem resolution?

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