While enjoying loyalty and respect from several happy customers, we all come across one or two angry and upset customers. No matter how dedicated and careful you are about your business, you can’t please all at a go. However, an angry customer can be a disaster to your business reputation. It’s always good to bid the good bye at a good note in case you’d have to close the business.
I strongly believe that it’s not impossible to handle them in the most delicate and professional way. Being calm quite and resolved, I employ intelligent customer care service and win the trust and loyalty even from those irrigated heads. Here is what I do to satisfy my cranky customers and convert them into my lifelong customers (I respect them all and their problem).
From the core of my 7 years’ experience as a SEO consultant and marketer at SEO Peace, I can figure out two circumstances that lead to such dire consequence.
- The time my team makes a blunder.
- The time when a customer goes irritated for some incomprehensive reasons.
What I do?
I dig up the root cause lying behind my customer’s dissatisfaction. Whether my team is guilty or my customer has misunderstood something beyond my control- I resolute to be calm, quite and apologetic.
I like to call up my customer and love to fix the issue by discussing over the same. Finding my customers’ damage or wastage of money and time, I compensate them by serving them in the most professional way on time. In worst cases, I offer money back facility without leaving customers problem unsolved.
I never get content until my upset customer is happy again with me.
With the death of linkedin answers, we have lost an ultimate resource of getting valuable answers, expert’s opinions and initiating hot discussions. After sorting an emergency with upset customer (turned out to be positive and happy), I posted this question at linkedin answers and got some great responses. Eventually, I lost this post and could never post but it’s never late. Every business encounters some painful cases with unhappy customers for one or the other reasons. Here are some great advises by experts, professionals and business owners on how to deal with an angry customer.
According to Rich Foreman from Apptology,
We need to summarize the problem after expressing our sorrow to the customer. Analyze if the problem is solely your fault; if so or not take action to fix the problem to mitigate the impact on our customer.
Ms. Deborah Hughes, a Business Services Manager at Oakland Consulting, is of the opinion that
Asking for apology is not done. We can be empathetic and treat our unhappy customers carefully and help them effectively to dissolve the issue once and for all.
Dave Maskin from WireNames.com thinks very bold.
He tries to rectify the problem from the grass root level. If customers’ expectation for compensation is higher than his capacity, he reveals it without any hesitation.
I find Mike Vincent from Mountain View, California to be a smarter guy.
He points out a two-step solution.
1. He suggests writing an empathetic letter to sooth the customer and show off your concern for his problem.
2. Without hanging the issue, begin to solve it in the least minimum time. If you find it as not your job, consult higher authority. Solving customer issues becomes easy if you really care for it.
Wesley Clark, Chief Strategist & Owner of Byzantium Wealth Management Strategies, suggests an interesting way.
He asks to listen and get them relax by venting out all their disappointment to you. Send a follow up mail to clarify when they are calm and promise to solve the issue within a timeline. If you are unable to solve the issue by that time, be professional and let them inform about it and seek permission for more time if you are confident enough to fix the fault.
On the other hand, Patricia Pitsel, the Principal at Pitsel & Associates Ltd. says that
Identify and state that you know about your customers’ anger and aguish. Instead of putting your excuses forward you must be empathetic for the problem and then try to find out the solution while informing him about it and taking his permission.
Yosef Baskin, a Documentation Manager—National Check Operations at Citi offers me anther practical solution.
According to him, telling sorry is of no use. Rather our concern for the fault is more impactful on the client. Instead of making excuses, we must try for the immediate solution for the problem and causes of my customer.
Mr. Srikiran C. Rai, a SAP SD Associate Consultant at Infosys Ltd. sounds like an expert.
His three pillars of solution are listening, empathy and solving the problem on time.
He asks me to listen to them being patient and show your empathy and concern.
Ask any other person in power to have another round of discussion while you begin searching the exact and less time taking yet permanent solution.
He said once upset customers’ problems are solved, we can enjoy their lifelong loyalty which is stronger than the customer who has no complaint for us.
According to LuciLily Li from iKode Information & Technology Co.,Ltd,
I must have a customer support team for better information of my customers and real time reporting of their problems. With an expert solving software, we can move ahead quite successfully.
Walter A. Dean, a Customer Service Representative at Protocol Global Solutions, is of an opinion which makes him sound like an industry veteran.
He asks me to do nothing but to listen the problem carefully. Understand the situation and know what your customer wants next. If he has time to offer you to search a solution, its fine or you can pay his money back if he is inclined about it.
But, never leave the problem. Sort it out even if you know your customer would never come back to you. Who knows he may return seeing your concern.
Mr. Daniel Swift is the Management Consultant Founder/Managing Director of Swift Capital Group and he throws a six-step solution like a master of his job.
Let your customer vent out their mind.
Say sorry if fault is yours. Or, be empathetic.
Provide the immediate solution along with the permanent one.
Follow up to show your interest and concern.
Keep up your promise for compensating and satisfying them by following through.
Another suggestion comes from Mr. Sterling Jackson who is a Consultant at Affinity Informatics.
He advised to acknowledge the problem. Treat your customer politely and being damn careful.
Go to search out the problem without digging whose fault it was. None is interested to know the reason but want to get rid of the impact. Try solving the issue and convey your concern through strong communication channels.
Follow through. Don’t disappear after promising all huge things. Customers when get the solution stick you forever according to him.
Over to You
I am overwhelmed after getting such tremendous response from professionals all across the world. I have listed up the top 13 suggestions here.
I know more solutions are on the way to reach out to me.
Let me know how you handle your irksome customers. It would be quite interesting for me.
What’s your mantra? Tell me!