Every business is going to have its share of angry, disgruntled, dissatisfied customers. You can’t keep everybody happy, after all. Unfortunately, these customers can be quite vocal about it online.
Regardless of the reasons why a customer is frustrated at you, your product, or the services you extended, you want to be able to address any negative reviews and other mentions of your company on social media and other websites as quickly as possible. When 73% of customers consider customer experience as a deciding factor of their loyalty to a brand, you know you have to up your game.
Read on for more information on how you can better handle unhappy customers.
Why angry customers need to be dealt with fast
If you are a business owner, you will inevitably have unhappy customers. When someone is unhappy with your product or service, it can be a frustrating situation. Customers are bound to vent their frustrations in this digital age, but how can you deal with angry customers online?
Angry customers can affect your brand more than you think. From no longer wanting to do business with you in the future to spreading negative word of mouth about your business, there can be a ripple effect when customer dissatisfaction is not handled right. With social media and other online platforms available for every customer these days, negative reviews and impressions about your brand can be easily spread like wildfire.
Regardless of the situation, it is important to remain calm and take a long-term approach when dealing with upset customers. Remember that you cannot control customers from feeling dissatisfied with your business. What you can control, however, is how you respond to them.
How to deal with dissatisfied customers
While it can be very challenging to deal with a frustrated customer, businesses should look at this as an opportunity to do better in the future. No matter how much you try to avoid customer dissatisfaction, there are always going to be a few who will be unhappy with your products or services. Here are some of the things you can do to address them:
Hear them out
Too many times, businesses take the approach of listening to reply instead of listening to understand. When you actively pay attention to what customers are saying, you get a better understanding of where the frustration and dissatisfaction stem from.
Read their review or complaint at least a couple of times and focus on the message. To make sure that you have a good grasp of the problem, paraphrase their issue and be sure to ask questions to clarify certain points as well. This will give them the impression that you are paying attention and are genuinely interested in sorting things out.
Apologize to the customers
This doesn’t mean saying “I’m sorry” is good enough. When you apologize, acknowledge the pain points of the customer. This will help them feel that their concern is valid, their frustrations are heard, and that you are on your way to try and resolve it.
You want your apology to come across as sincere and thorough too. When customers can sense that the apology is merely thrown at them in the hopes of placating their frustrations, it might produce the opposite effect. Sincerity is crucial.
Address them by their name
When handling any complaint, always address customers by their name. You’ll never go wrong by personalizing every interaction you have with the customers.
When you address them by their name, you are making them feel seen, heard, and valued. You don’t want customers to feel as if they’re just another inconvenience that you have to deal with. Not only will this let the customer know that you care and are there to help them, but it is also a good way to remind them that you too are a real person working behind the screen, trying to sort things out for them.
Win back their trust
When customers complain about something, their trust in your brand is already low. Expect their impression to be negative as well. You don’t want to keep things that way, which is why you work to win them back again.
If there is a mistake on your end that caused the problem, don’t deflect the blame. Own up to it. Honesty will go a long way and customers will appreciate it more when you are transparent with them. That being said, see to it that you’re well-equipped with all the information and resources needed to properly assist them. Also, don’t promise anything you cannot keep.
Response time matters
The faster a company responds to a customer complaint, the lower the risk of losing the customer in the long run. Not only can a slow response damage the reputation of a brand, but it costs businesses more to attract new customers than retain existing ones.
In the US, 70% of customers feel that waiting for a day is an acceptable response time when getting in touch with a brand. As such, every company should make sure that they have a fast response time in place.
This doesn’t mean resolving the problem right away. Just merely acknowledging that you have received the complaint and letting customers know that it is being reviewed and handled by the appropriate department will assure them that their frustrations did not fall on deaf ears.
At times like these, automation tools such as an automated email response system can do wonders. This means that every customer email you get is acknowledged, responded to, sorted, and then assigned to the right people even when they are received beyond your regular working hours.
Responding to customer complaints the right way
Online customer service has made it easier than ever for your customers to leave a comment, raise questions, or express dissatisfaction. Every brand should be ready for this and should have a dedicated support team whose main job is to ensure that customer complaints are handled effectively and quickly before they can cause any more dent to your overall brand reputation. Over time, this will help you build a better foundation for delivering a top-notch digital customer experience.