As business owners, we absolutely hate to think about the possibility of an unhappy, angry or dissatisfied client. However, we must, because even with our best efforts, we make mistakes or misunderstand a client’s wishes or even worse, cause them to lose money. So, how do we deal with the dissatisfied customer? Here are a few tips.
Actively Listen to the Customer’s Concerns
When a client is sharing their complaints, it is easy to get lost in trying to defend yourself, your employees and your brand. Don’t defend or justify your actions, instead allow them to speak and try not to interrupt, then rephrase and clarify to ensure you are on the same page.
Listen so as to understand their complaints and not to get points to defend yourself. Good active listening earns you brownie points with your client. Establish a complaint procedure to make it easier for customers to share their concerns and grievances.
Be Quick to Apologise
Apologising is the magic touch in these kinds of situations. Show the client that their concerns are valid, reasonable, and understandable. An apology is one of the ways to show empathy, and it also communicates to the client that you understand and recognise your mistakes.
Your body language is a key part of this, don’t say one thing with your mouth and another with your stance. Yes, the client may be wrong, but in a business context, they are always right, and they can help to either grow or pull down your business reputation depending on their experience with you.
Offer a Solution or Make a Concession
If a solution to the problem exists and can be applied, enlighten the client about it and wait for their response. If no logical solution exists, then you can make a concession.
You can offer them a discounted price, send a handwritten apology, offer free gifts or benefits, a free service or half-price off their next purchase.
Get Professional Indemnity Insurance
Anyone who renders a service or provides a product needs indemnity insurance. This type of insurance protects you from paying compensation fees, damages, and legal fees. It covers you and your business if a client is dissatisfied with the work you did or with a faulty product, accuses you of a breach in confidentiality, if you give poor advice, if you make a mistake with their work or if your product does not meet your promised standards.
Although we try our best to get it right with customers, we are not always successful. Professional indemnity insurance covers you when this happens and when concessions and apologies do not do the trick.
We sincerely hope you that you leave every client who deals with you singing your praises, but on the off chance you encounter an unhappy customer, do yourself and your business some good by trying the aforementioned tips to help you manage the situation effectively.