Maybe you’ve succeeded in walking customers through your funnel step by step. Vetting them, making them happy, and keeping them around. But chances are some of your interactions didn’t go so smoothly. The other half of developing a strong customer base, in addition to cultivating loyalty, is regaining unhappy customers back into the fold, reassuring them of your competency and impressing with your eagerness to please.
1. Be an actor
Perhaps the most important component of dealing with a displeased customer is your attitude. You may be tired, or having a bad day, or don’t believe the customer’s complaint is valid… but you still need to act like none of the above is true. Use a calm tone of voice and genuine words; don’t smile or shake your head in a way that mocks your customer.
If nothing else, say you’re sorry that your customer is unhappy. Getting too defensive pits you against your customer, instead of working together toward a solution. Address your customer by name and take time to listen to every detail of their complaint before offering an answer, giving them an opportunity to vent.
3. …but be firm
However, you can’t ignore company policies. Calmly explain what the rules are, and where the customer can read them. If you aren’t authorized to bend some rules to please a customer, don’t. Check with a supervisor before making any promises or special offers to compensate for the trouble.
4. Get your supervisor
You may even want to fetch your supervisor right off the bat for a particularly angry customer. Knowing that someone with authority is handling their concern reassures customers and lets them know that their complaint is legitimate and their business valued.
5. Seal the deal
Even if you’ve done everything right, the end goal of your conversation is to ensure that customer comes back. Their experience should not just result in their issue being addressed, but in them regaining confidence in your company.