Local businesses all have their share of difficult customer situations. Dealing with these customers can often be challenging, and different platforms of communication can warrant different responses.
Handling customer communication appropriately is vital to provide the best service, no matter the situation.
We’ve compiled a list of useful tips and best practices when being confronted with a frustrated customer or difficult customer situation.
Remember that this is an already angry customer and will only become more aggravated the longer they have to wait for a response or a solution.
Respond to customer’s complaint as soon as possible.
Offer to discuss on their preferred platform: texting!
While many businesses have some sort of email support reps, most customers prefer interacting through text messaging to communicate.
With texting comes the added benefit of customers being able to send photos or screenshots of their issue to help your understanding of what's going on.
If need be, offer to move the conversation offline and speak to them on the phone to solve the root cause of the problem as soon as possible.
Apologize for the inconvenience.
Whether or not you or your staff members are at fault for the customer’s experience, it’s important to always express sympathy and apologize. Providing a long list of excuses will make your customer feel frustrated.
A simple “We’re very sorry” and a quick explanation as to why the issue may have happened is enough to let the customer know you’re open and transparent.
Transparency is key!
The customer most likely wants to understand what went wrong, and that you are acknowledging the issue. Admit any mistakes made on your end, and remember to not get defensive.
When the customer sees that you’re being honest with them, and are aware of the issue, they’re more likely to respond with compassion and trust that you will provide them with a solution.
Personalize their experience.
Using templates and generic responses with an upset customer can make them feel as though you don’t offer adequate customer support. When a customer is upset, it’s best to make them feel like a VIP, and that helping them is your top priority.
By addressing customers by their name and providing them with specific solutions your customers will feel like they're being addressed as a real person and not being given a scripted answer.
Provide them with a resolution ASAP.
You don’t want the customer to think about or deal with the issue for long. By showing a sense of urgency, and solving the issue, your customer will begin to feel calm as your customer's concerns are being prioritized. It'll become more likely that the customer will trust your business again.
Ask them what results they would like to see out of the discussion, and show that you're using their negative experience as a source of learning and feedback for your business.
Remember to have a conversation, not an argument!
Do not get into arguments with unhappy customers, this will only upset them further - which could even lead them to leave you a negative online review. In these situations, show them that you’re here to help, understand what they want out of the situation, and do your best to accommodate.
When customer’s concerns receive a genuine response and solution, customers are more likely to be satisfied with the customer service you provide.
Follow up shortly after.
Take an extra step and prove unbeatable customer service by showing them you’re still ready and willing to help. Send a follow-up text asking if they need any further assistance or if everything was resolved.
This may not be the most appropriate step to take if the customer left without allowing you to help solve the issue to the best of your ability, so use your judgment to send follow-up messages on a case-by-case basis.
Remember, showing you can empathize with a customer’s perspective and are there to provide a solution is what they want to see. Keep it simple, don’t panic, and simply provide the help they need in a timely manner.
Ready to Grow Your Business?
Our mission is to help local businesses grow by making it easier to communicate with customers.
At DemandHub, our goal is to help local businesses grow by making it easier to communicate with customers. With modern messaging technology, your business can implement text messaging, Web Chat, and Team Chat all on one platform.
We want to help you build relationships, take control of your online reputation, and win more business today.