Every business comes across customers who have had a bad experience with their brand. Hopefully, they’re few and far between, but it can happen for several different reasons. The challenging part is how you respond to upset customers. Your response and how you handle the situation can make or break your business for regaining the customer’s trust or losing them and their referrals.
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How To Handle Negative Feedback In The Right Way
The following are the responses that you should have when a customer gives negative or constructive feedback to your business or processes.
- Listen To The Customer
If a customer approaches you with a bad mood or complaint, be sure to listen and try to understand that customer. What is the motive of your customer? You should try to figure out the answers to the following questions:
- Why is the customer angry?
- Is the customer in the mood for explanations?
- What can I do to make the customer calm down?
- How can I help to make him feel better?
- Is the customer telling the truth or not?
Once you have figured out the answers to these questions, try to calm the situation. Prioritize customer care and value what he/she is saying. This prevents the situation from escalating further.
- Assume all your customers are watching
Pretend that you are not talking to only the customer, but to an audience that is spectating the interaction. This shift in viewpoint may offer an emotional shield, if the person is emotionally aggressive, and help you think more objectively while responding. Showing empathy for the customer’s emotion will prove to the customer and anyone reading the comments that your company does care, and you’re trying to help as best as you can.
- Show the Customer You Care
Place yourself in the hands of the customer. Communicating effectively with a customer to dissolve an issue can typically help them settle down. Make sure to display empathy for the feelings of the customer.
- Know when to give in
If satisfying the customer is taking too long and risking a negative referral, it may be better to draw a compromise. Offer something they would appreciate that is equivalent to their bad experience.
- Take Action and Follow-up
Decide on an action plan to resolve the customer’s concern or problem as soon as possible. Urgently fixing a customers issue can go a long way. Reach out to the customer and explain how you plan to resolve the issue and include your name and contact information. This will give him a feeling of security to reach out again with any other questions and build the trust back.
Solve the issue at the moment to alleviate the situation. Letting it marinate for a long period of time will anger the customer further and result in a potentially negative outcome for your business.
What Not To Do When Handling A Customer?
There are a few things that you should not do in front of an irritated, angry customer.
- Never get irritated or furious
When the customer swears or becomes verbally abusive, take a deep breath, and don’t respond in the same tone. Continue to control your temper and respond in an understanding tone. Getting irritated back will never fix the issue, but only intensify the problem in a negative direction. Regardless of how the client is acting, continue to inform them that you would like to find a solution to help them.
If you get upset or irritated, the customer may assume you are giving them an attitude. This can damage the company image and result in a loss of a customer.
- Never raise your voice when responding
If the customer starts speaking louder, remember to begin talking slower at a lower tone. Your calm attitude will be able to help them settle down. If you need to reply via email, make sure you word the email in an intentionally soft tone, so the customer does not take it as attitude. We have all experienced a text or email that was misconstrued, so be intentional with how you respond.
- Never claim that you cannot help
Don’t ever tell your customer that you cannot solve their problem. Let them know you will do the best you can to figure out what the issue is and the best solution. If you are not qualified to fix the problem, then request someone to join the conversation who is capable of addressing the issue.
- Bad Experiences Happen
It is common for every business to have a couple of bad customer experiences in each industry. Stay calm and handle the situation as best as you can. If you’re naturally an emotional person, direct the customer to someone on your team who can address the conversation with a level head. It’s important to remember that your customers are human like you. They may be having a bad day that is infuriating them further; don’t take it personally.
- Never take it personally
Never take things to heart. Try not to get emotional with the situation even if the client does. As a representative of the company, the customer is only expressing resentment towards you because you are the first face or target for their anger. Politely direct the conversation back towards the problem and less on negative feelings. This will allow you to assess and resolve the issue quicker.
It may be challenging to negotiate with impatient clients. But, if you handle the situation well, you could improve your relationship and create additional opportunities. Be sure you respond to concerns or grievances consistently, and avoid the temptation to disrupt or fix the issue automatically. Be empathetic and compassionate, and make sure this is expressed through your body language.
Follow up with the customer to ensure that he/she was satisfied with how the issue was handled. Handling situations like this promotes better customer experiences.