How to Deal With An Unhappy Customer

An unhappy customer is like a leaky faucet. You can either try and fix it yourself, call for help, or just live with it.

In the business world, these ‘leaky faucets’ can have a detrimental effect on the success of a business. Given the speed at which word travels thanks in part to sites like Yelp and Facebook, dealing with an unhappy customer should be at the top of every employees to-do list.

Whether you’re at the front of the lines working the registers or in the back office, it’s important to take every unhappy customer seriously. Remember that customer complaints are an excellent way on improving ones business based on their feedback as well as an opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a life-long one.

A great rule of thumb is that if done right, you should never hear that complaint again.

5 Things to Remember when dealing with an Unhappy Customer

1. Act swiftly: Nothing abates a situation faster than quick, responsive action. Always make sure to respond to complaints and unhappy customers quickly and more importantly keep them updated on where things are in regards to a resolution.

2. Educate your organization: The first step in dealing with an unhappy customer is first educating others how to deal with one. Just because the manager knows how to deal with a potentially volatile situation, doesn’t mean that everyone else does. Educate your organization through seminars and handouts, as well as by adopting great customer service as part of your brand.

3. Listen and Understand: One of the keys to any good negotiation or conflict resolution is to listen and understand what is 1. upsetting the customer and 2. what will resolve it. Don’t make assumptions on what the customer wants done; let them tell you and then respond.

4. Don’t take it personally: Remember, most complaints are not personal. As an employee, it’s important to understand that a customers frustration and anger is not directed at the individual themselves, but at the brand. If you begin to take it personally, you will let your emotions play into it which can lead to negative results.

5. Be Realistic: Telling an angry customer that the CEO of the company will call them personally is probably not gonna happen. Always make sure that when coming to a resolution and making ‘promises’ that they are reachable and will not be met with disappointment later on.


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