Customer satisfaction is the best type of advertisement any business can have. When just 1 percent of the customer base becomes unsatisfied, the reputation of the business is at risk. Good customer service skills are important to any business, but knowing how to turn an angry customer into a loyal customer is essential.
There are four main steps to turn any angry customer into a loyal one. The first thing business owners need to understand is that dealing with an unsatisfied customer is inevitable, no matter how hard they work to keep everyone happy. So, when it happens, and it will, knowing how to deal with an angry customer properly is the key to a successful customer/business relationship.
- Apologize to the customer in a sincere manner. Listen closely to his complaint and offer a real apology, even if you are uncertain about why the customer is angry at this point.
- Review the complaint with the customer. Go through all of the details before offering any excuses or reasoning. Asking the customer rudimentary questions before he has fully explained his side of the story often comes across as rude or insulting. Build a relationship with the angry customer, letting him know you care about the problem and want to make it right before asking any of the necessary basic questions.
- Fix the problem. Just offering the customer what he expected to receive before he became upset isn't enough. He feels he has been wronged, and in order to repair his feelings of injustice, added effort must be taken to restore his faith in the company, the brand or the company's staff. If offering him something for a return visit, which is the ideal scenario, make sure that he is given top-notch service when he returns. If he experiences a second issue with the business, a loyal customer is lost forever.
- Document the dispute, and all the details on how it was handled. A well-trained employee knows how to properly document a customer record for later review. These records help identify any trends or patterns where customer service needs to be tweaked.
If any negative comments have been left on Internet sites by an angry customer, they need to be addressed immediately. Never ignore a negative comment, and never argue with a customer online. Apologize publicly for the problem and offer to resolve the issue.
With social media platforms, blog sites and so many additional forms of media at consumers' fingertips, one wronged and angry customer can quickly turn into a huge marketing problem for any business. Having the proper steps in place to quickly resolve a hostile situation not only helps eliminate the risk of a poor reputation, but also aids in building a strong relationship between the business and that customer.