In the second part of this article, we continue to discuss how to turn a negative customer experience into a positive one for the business and the customer. In a press release, author and UP! Your Service founder and chairman Ron Kaufman offers five more tips on how to deal with disgruntled customers.
Educate your customer. Listen to the customer and answer their questions. Don’t lie. If you do not know the answer to a specific question, tell the customer you will find out and get back to them, notes Kaufman.
“And then actually follow through,” he adds in the release. “Contact the customer with the answers they requested. And even if they might not have requested an update about their situation, get back in touch with them with one anyway. These are additional opportunities for you to say through your actions, ‘We care about you. We value your business.’”
Contain the problem. Don’t let one displeased customer cause chaos and spread his or her mood to other patrons. Some businesses may have special rooms where they let families with tired, screaming children calm down.
“Remember, whatever the situation is, your first order of business is to keep the problem from growing,” notes Kaufman, in the release. “Only then can you work on defusing it.”
Apologize even if you can’t help. The customer isn’t always right, but he or she is always the customer, states the release. Company policy doesn’t always allow the solution a customer wants, but employees can apologize for the wrong the customer believes has been caused.
Kaufman explains in the release, “This response shows understanding and empathy for the customer's discomfort, displeasure, or inconvenience. You might even give your customer service providers leeway to offer freebies or discounts to further defuse situations like these—more on that next.”
Recover. Show the customer you care about his or her business. According to the release, companies worry they’ll be taken advantage of if they offer discounts and other vouchers, but this rarely happens.
“Offer the customer something and then explain that you're doing so ‘as a gesture of goodwill’ or ‘as a token of our appreciation,’” says Kaufman, in the release.
Give serial complainers an out. Some people do not want to be satisfied; they just want to complain, states the release. These people cannot be satisfied. Limit your liability and isolate them from your brand.
“These are the people who gripe that your company's free-with-purchase giveaway is too ‘cheap,’ for instance, or who personally attack employees for not doing what they want, even though the company policy has already been politely explained to them multiple times,” Kaufman shares, in the release. “Serial complainers are an especially strong drain on your employees, so it's important not to let them run roughshod over your customer service providers once they've proven that they don't want to be helped.”
Kaufman continues in the release that many serial complainers will reflect over their behavior later, and “you want their final memory of you to be powerful and positive.”
Click here to read part one of the list.
Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission.
Ron is author of The New York Times best-selling book Uplifting Service. For more information and free tools, visit www.UpYourService.com.