According to American Express, 78 percent of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. Coming across as condescending is the worst thing a business can do to a customer—and to itself.
Is the customer always right? Maybe, maybe not.
Do you still want to do business with this customer? Of course.
Business perception of customer expectations needs to elevate to the realization that even an angry customer is a potential source of revenue. Which is why you need to relate, empathize and pacify with angry customers. It is imperative that businesses build a culture that revolves solely around the customer.
"The customer’s perception is your reality." —Kate Zabriskie
One golden rule to follow is to never question the customer’s point of view. If he expects your product to perform in a certain way, there can be numerous reasons behind it, such as:
- Your marketing folks promised too much or
- Your competitor has that feature
Customers will always get angry, your job is to avoid these five responses that can instantly kill a deal.
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The customer is already angry, and this will exponentiate the anger. The best way to deal with an angry customer is—keep calm, do not take it personally, use your best listening skills, actively sympathize and apologize gracefully.
Listen to his problem carefully and find a solution. Tell him what can be done, the steps that you will take to resolve his problem. Communicate that you have already started thinking about the solution. Listen first and understand before you retaliate.
There are many different approaches you can take when dealing with an angry customer, but the most important step to remember is do not get angry as well. Fighting fire with fire will not lead to a promising solution.
"You’re the first one to complain about this."
This comment both singles out the customer and makes the company appear arrogant.
Customers don’t always complain, and can easily switch to your competition, because that’s easy and quick. If the customer has taken the time out to complain about a feature, this is the most valuable feedback that your first round of testing might have missed out on. Thank him for bringing the problem to your attention, and promise to resolve the problem.
There are four great steps you can take once you get customer feedback.
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"You did that wrong."
The customer is not always right, but there is a right and wrong way of verbalizing your opinion. Rather than blatantly telling a customer that they did something wrong, have them walk you through what they did and understand where the problem lies. Remember that if you’re on the receiving end of a complaint, the finest approach is to listen with patience and understand the issue.
If it is within your power, fix the problem immediately. If not, inform the customer of who can fix the problem and introduce the two. Haggling over whether the customer is right or wrong is a waste of time and could potentially lose the customer's business in the future.
If you cannot act instantly, clearly explain why and inform them of when the problem will be resolved.
"I will get back to you as soon as I can."
Never leave your customer wondering whether you have a solution for the problem. The moment you say "as soon as I can," there is a chance that the customer has already started losing trust and in turn, you will lose the customer's business.
Be as specific as you can, tell him that problem might take hours, days, etc. to solve the problem. If you do not have a solution within the promised time, call up and tell the customer that you are working continuing to work on the issue.
It is crucial not to leave the customer waiting or wondering.
"That's against our policy."
Unless you want to come across as an inflexible bureaucrat, this is a really bad statement. It’s your job to meet unmet needs of your customers.
A better way is to inform the customer is if the solution is not something that the regulations allow, you are willing to find a way to accommodate them.
Customers are not interested in your company’s handbook, they care about the problem being solved. If it is something that cannot be done at all, offer a discount coupon or an extended period of service; basically, anything that saves you from reciting the company policy.
The only way keep your customers happy is by being nice to them, by showing them that you care. It’s upon you to find ways to tell your customers that you do value them.
68% of your customers will leave you because they don’t know that you actually do value them. Show them that they matter.