Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Recover from a Bad Customer Experience

Every business would like for every one of its customers to have consistently great experiences, but that’s not always the case. Even the best businesses have customers who have a less-than-positive experience. Luckily, ReadLocal has seven tips for how to recover when a customer has a bad experience.

1) Quickly Take Action
A customer may complain at the time of service or wait to contact the business. However a customer contacts you about a negative customer experience, it’s important to resolve their issue as quickly as possible. You want the customer to know you care about their business , so quickly resolving their problems helps them feel more positive about your company.  

2) Identify the Cause
When a customer complains about a bad experience, they may mention many issues when they speak with you. It’s important to listen to what they have to say, paying attention to the specifics they mention pertaining to your business. There are potential issues that can arise, but it’s important to identify the root of the problem so you can respond to their specific issue.

3) Offer an Immediate Resolution
If a customer is unhappy with your products, solve their problem as soon as you hear about it. The longer it takes for their issue to be resolved, the more upset they are likely to become. To make sure you can consistently offer immediate resolutions to customer complaints, create a system, procedure, or policy for each of the bad customer experiences your business has faced so that you’ll have a way to handle issues as they arise.

4) Take Responsibility
Is every customer complaint your fault? Not necessarily, but it is important to take responsibility for the contribution you have had in the issue. Don’t blame the customer, because that is only going to make them more upset. Identify the parts of the issue that your business played a part in, and let the customer know you are aware of your responsibility. 

5) Apologize
Make sure to apologize for the customer’s bad experience. Be sincere in your response. Let the customer know you appreciate their business and are sorry for any inconvenience. Don’t be frustrated in your conversation with the customer. Instead, put yourself in their shoes and let them know you care.

6) Provide a Tangible Solution
In most cases, an apology alone is not enough to recover from a bad customer experience. In order to resolve the issue with the customer, offer a resolution. For example, many businesses offer a discount, refund, or complimentary service package, depending on the severity of the issue.

7) Empower Your Team

“May I speak with a manager?” This is one of the questions that a customer has a complaint about your business. But, authority and approvals to get customer complaints resolved can make the process take more time and make the customer feel frustrated. So, empower your team to be a part of the resolution process so that issues are handled at the front line. 
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