The ease with which frustrated or angered customers can find your competitors via mobile or desktop makes having a watertight issue resolution system vital. The growth of social media and review websites (as well as native social media reviewing systems) means that a single angry customer can cause significant reputation damage.
First: Do You Want Angry Customers Back?
Some business owners and managers might view angry customers as mere troublemakers, or as the typical ‘difficult customer.’ Yet there could also be an element of your customer experience that is causing unnecessary friction. If you truly want customers to stick with your business and help you grow your revenue, you need a process:
- Identify a customer’s issue
- Plan a recovery
- Rapidly implement the recovery plan
Customers simply expect businesses to have such issue resolution practices in place. Not being able to deal with customer complaints in a speedy fashion will quickly send customers into competitors’ open arms.
Common Problems With How Customer Issue Resolution Is Handled
When competitors are always a click or two away, you need to avoid the following roadblocks in customer issue resolution:
- Errors are quietly ignored in the hope they’ll go away
- Apologies are made but are obviously insincere and self-serving
- There is no drive to make the situation better on the part of the business or service provider
- The customer waits in limbo with little communication
Avoid these errors and your business can be the hero for each frustrated customer. Here are our five simple steps that will prove to customers that your business sees them and values their patronage:
Step 1: Respond Quickly
There’s a reason Facebook has a special ‘fast response’ icon for business pages that only turns on when you respond to messages in under an hour. Fast responses show customers that someone is listening and gives them faith that their issues will be attended to promptly.
Step 2: Show Humble Empathy For The Customer
Treating the customer with respect and showing empathy for their frustrations is an effective way to build relationships of trust and mutual respect. This leaves the customer feeling heard and valued.
Step 3: Acknowledge Accountability
Owning the issue and assuring the customer it will be resolved is vital. Issues escalate when businesses and customers engage in futile retaliatory blaming.
Step 4: Explain How The Issue Arose Honestly And How Your Business Will Use Insights Gained To Improve
To truly impress the customer and begin to win them back, you need to go beyond apologising for their bad customer experience and show them that their complaint has been a valuable learning experience. Demonstrating your commitment to improving will restore some faith in the customer.
Step 5: Make Peace And Mend The Relationship
See through the peace-making process to the end, ensuring that the customer is satisfied with how all issues have been resolved. This attentiveness throughout the process will reinforce your customer’s perception of your business’ customer-centric, caring approach and will help win a formerly irate customer back.
Keep apologies humble, to-the-point and without fuss or fanfare. Focus on the individual customer’s frustrations and needs and be swiftly responsive and you should be able to resolve customer gripes smoothly.