The Good News! A satisfied customer will tell 3-5 people.
The Bad News! dissatisfied customer will tell 15 people.
The Best News! A customer whose problem was handled with courtesy, kindness and respect will tell 4-6 people!
An unhappy customer is an opportunity - not only to fix the initial problem – but to create a positive experience for them that they will most likely share with others. And word of mouth advertising is the best…plus it’s free!
Complaints help a business identify problems and the chance to improve the quality of all of their customers’ experiences.
So mistakes happen. They’re inevitable. It’s how you respond that matters most. Mistakes are opportunities to really show that you genuinely care.
Here are some tips on how to handle an angry customer:
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Look at things from their point of view. You can probably understand why they are upset.
- Step up and apologize. This shows them respect, that you care and that you are taking responsibility for the final outcome. Don’t make excuses and if it’s your fault – say so! Don’t blame coworkers, the customer, the shop, etc. You will earn the customer's respect if you simply say, “I made a mistake and I’m sorry.” or “I understand how you feel and I apologize.”
- It’s critical that you be respectful of the customer’s mood. If the customer is very upset, you may need to wait and allow them to vent a bit and then calm down before you can offer solutions. So, let them talk, don’t interrupt. This is their chance to air their grievance.
- Try to keep your patience and don’t react or take any comment personally. The customer is angry at the situation, even though they are directing their frustration at you. Ensure them that you will find a solution for them.
- LISTEN! And sincerely try to understand the problem from their perspective. Ask questions to help you understand the situation. Ask them how they would like the problem to be resolved. Offer alternatives and solutions. The customer wants to know that they are being heard. If they see that you are sincerely concerned, even the angriest customer will understand that you are trying to help them find a solution.
- Ask for help if necessary, from your coworkers, manager or supervisor.
- Once resolved, clearly communicate the resolution and ask if the customer is satisfied.
- Add a surprise at the end of the transaction! Get approval from your management to offer the customer a free dessert, a discount card, something they weren’t expecting! “Over deliver!”
- Finally, take the initiative, to resolve any problem that may have caused the situation with the customer. Speak with your manager and coworkers if necessary, about ways that service can be improved so that the problem won't happen again!