Especially during the holiday season, some customers seem to take out all their frustrations on the businessperson and their company.
As a small business owner, have you been on the receiving end of an all-out verbal attack by a disgruntled customer who had you and your company in their firing sights?
If this has happened to you and you and/or your employees were not quite sure on how to go about dealing with it, there are some factors to keep in mind. Among them are:
- Stay cool and collected - While it is easy to want to fire off a nasty response either in person or through correspondence with the upset customer, you are just throwing fuel on the fire. By getting verbally upset with the customer, you are prolonging a situation that nine times out of 10 can be easily handled. Keep your emotions in check, listen to what the customer has to say, then decide the best course of action; - Get the facts -- There are many instances where information is misunderstood when being transferred to you from an employee regarding a customer issue. Make sure you get all the pertinent information so that you put yourself in the best position possible to solve the matter. One missing piece of information can easily derail you in the effort to fix the problem; - Put you in their shoes -- We have all at one time or another been in the position of being upset with a product and/or service. Take a moment to think how you would react to such a situation if the shoe were on the other foot. What would you want out of the situation? It is easier to deal with an irate customer when you have been there before on the other side of the coin; - Offer an appropriate apology -- Even if you know you are in the right, apologize to the customer for things coming to this. Oftentimes it will be determined that you and/or your employees did nothing wrong, but it still never hurts to apologize for the misconception that you did. The customer will become more disarmed when you offer up an apology up front; - Find the best solution for everyone -- When you find yourself in such a situation, come up with the best solution for all involved. While you want what is best for the customer, don't throw one of your employees or the company for that matter under the bus.
Running a business invariably means dealing with some upset customers from time to time.
It is how you deal with them that determine whether they remain a customer or flock to your competition.
So, how have you dealt with upset customers in the past?
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