Unhappy Customer? Try These 14 Strategies To Make It Right


No matter your business industry, you’re bound to deal with unhappy customers from time to time—whether they’re justified in their feelings or not. While there are multiple ways to handle the situation, it’s crucial to tread lightly. One wrong move can result in the loss of a customer and a bad review that can repel other potential consumers.

To help, 13 members of Forbes Business Council shared their best advice for dealing with an unhappy customer. Follow their recommendations to turn the situation around and regain the customer’s trust and loyalty.

1. Listen To Their Side

Most individuals, when unhappy, want only one thing: They want to be heard. When dealing with clientele, the most effective route to resolution is to listen keenly to what they have to say. If you are attentive to what they are saying, they will often tell you exactly how they would like the problem solved. – Jackson Hedden, Jackson Hedden .LLC

2. Show Empathy

Some customers will be angry and complain because they want something for free (you can normally tell who they are with a phone call). Others have a genuine issue that needs to be addressed and highlighted where we have let them down. It’s an opportunity for empathy, brand building and improvement. When dealt with the right way, an unhappy customer can turn into a lifelong supporter and patron. – Simon Chamberlain , Harrow and Green USA Inc


Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?


3. Have A Senior-Level Manager Reach Out

Having a senior-level person reach out directly to the unhappy customer can help the company better understand what is actually happening on the frontlines that led to an unhappy situation. An actual phone call to the customer can also go a long way toward saving a relationship. Often, unhappy customers just need to be heard and the promise of real change from a senior manager can help. – Robert Greenberg, Patch of Land

4. Get Personal

Get personal by calling the customer and telling them you have nothing to sell but just want to learn so this doesn’t happen again. Customers always assume a CEO is too busy or too far from the action to care or to know, so just by reaching out and announcing who you are you’ll get some attention, some feedback and maybe a win. – Robert Granader, Marketresearch.com

5. Be Honest

When addressing an unhappy customer, one of the most key things to do is be honest. If your team messed up, own it and don’t make excuses. Customers will often appreciate honesty more than some staged answer that tries to minimize the situation. Acknowledging their unhappiness and being honest about what led to the current situation is key when it comes to representing yourself and your team well. – Matt Weirich, Realync

6. Avoid Going On The Offense

The most important thing to do is listen, so don’t go on the offense. Evaluate if the customer has a legitimate point and whether it is necessary to change your position. In the end, if you believe the customer’s issue has no merit, offer your apology but do not stray from your core values. Making every customer happy is not possible or necessary. Stick to your core values and you’ll keep the right ones. – Louis bernardi, Group Planners Inc. d/b/a BritePath

7. Exceed Their Expectations

Fixing a problem for an unhappy customer is a gift because it is an opportunity to serve them so well that they turn from an unhappy customer to an evangelist. First, acknowledge the problem. Then genuinely apologize, own the responsibility of fixing it and produce an outcome for the customer that is better than what they originally were hoping for. – Richard Steel, Parsec Ventures

8. Provide Transparency

Honesty is the best policy. There are a lot of moving parts in the mortgage industry, and if something comes up we try to be as transparent as possible. We can’t fix mistakes if we aren’t able to identify what happened and why. Honesty and open communication between our team has helped us move forward and (usually) not make the same mistakes multiple times. – Bill Lyons, Griffin Funding

9. Retrace Their Steps

It is very important to recognize where things have gone wrong. Although there may be different situations leading up to, it still it is better to know, learn, acknowledge and take remedial action. Keep the customer engaged and aware. This will help build a long-term customer base and relationships. Keep the customer informed. – Chander Mishra, Blue Ocean Capital LLC

10. Validate Their Feelings

It’s the oldest rule in the book but it’s something I’ll never compromise—the customer is always right. If a client feels unsatisfied, disappointed or less confident, their feelings are justified as it’s their money being spent. Listening to your customer, validating their feelings and working together toward reaching attainable solutions can improve your relationship, trust and workflow. – Emily Blair, Emily Blair Media

11. Learn From The Interaction

You can’t unring a bell. Professional relationships can and do fade, and you can’t be all things to all people. Business interactions don’t happen in a vacuum and things will go wrong. In these instances, learn from it; if the relationship can be spared, it most likely will be due to the way you handled the situation. Your client will remember you’re a problem solver, so treat them earnestly. – Alex Argianas, Arginias & Associates

12. Assess The Damage

The smartest thing to do is to quickly and honestly assess the damage by asking some basic yet fundamental questions to understand how unhappy the customer is and how vital they are. Then, if the assessment calls for customer retention, do whatever (within acceptable limits) it takes to make the customer happy. If not, let it go and move on. – Biju Chandrasekharan, ByteWave Digital Inc.

13. Own Up To Errors

Ups and downs are part of business. Things happen. Compassionate empathy goes a long way when it is sincere. Own up to the error or intel you have that may be the premise for them leaving. Seek to gain the relationship back by simply giving items or buying them back. Trust usually was broken, so showing that you value them and supporting them in the future may hold weight in winning them back. – Paul L. Gunn, KUOG Corporation



Source link

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: