How do you turn disgruntled customers into your most enthusiastic followers?

The basis of any successful business is a satisfied customer. It’s very important to pay special attention to negative feedback. There are several ways a business can underwhelm customers. Circumstances may work against us, our company may be put at a disadvantage, but more often than you’d like to think we just unintentionally make the wrong move. To avoid this, it’s worth getting to know the exact needs of our customers.

In our article, we’ll help your business’s customer communication with useful tips to turn dissatisfied buyers into committed, happy clients.

Why is it good if your customers complain?

Every entrepreneur has their idea of ​​how their service and products can best be sold. However, these ideas don’t always meet the required standard. We can easily get into a situation where even though we think we have done everything for our business, the profits are still lacking. Our customers and partners are dropping out, and we don’t understand why this is happening. It’s better to face the dissatisfaction, to confront the real causes of disinterest than be in the dark. We’ll know and understand the root causes when we listen to our customers’ complaints.

If we don’t know what our customers dislike, we can’t fix the problem.

In forward-thinking large corporations, every complaint is considered a gift. Each negative feedback is an opportunity to learn from and prevent another ten complaints. Comments can help us improve our product or service and the quality of our customer service. Small adjustments can bring us closer and closer to a satisfied customer base, which in the long run culminates in business revenue.

What should you avoid with a complaining customer?

Once we realize that we can turn the experience of handling customer complaints to the benefit of our business, we face a tough challenge. First of all, we have to diffuse the unpleasant situation. An outraged customer must first calm down, let off steam so that we can find a mutually beneficial, constructive solution.

Be sure to avoid meaningless disputes with your customers.

An emotional, dissatisfied customer may not be using the best tone when voicing their opinion. Listening to them voice their displeasure, it’s best to take a deep breath and respond in a polite, pleasant tone. If we respond the same way, it is like adding fuel to the fire, it’s guaranteed that we lose the customer right there and then. What’s worse, a dissatisfied customer will share their negative experience with another 5-10 people, thus lose even more potential revenue for the company.

The most important thing with a complaint is to take the other party and their problem seriously. We should apologize and thank them for their honest opinion. Demonstrate understanding towards them, be open, and listen with sincere attention. Ask for as much detail as possible, and it’s best if they tell you how to appropriately fix the issue. Ask them what they think the best solution would be. 

Be sympathetic, and even if the client doesn’t come up with an immediate constructive suggestion, try to offer them some compensation. Believe me, the energy spent on handling a complaint will pay off – multiple times over the cost of compensation.

What should you do?

Think of the customer’s complaint as a development opportunity. This positive approach can help you calmly handle irritated objections. The conversation will help you find points in your business that need improvement. The more you know about the other party, the easier it will be to understand them. Over time, you will see from the subtlest detail what type of person you are facing and how you can help him or her most efficiently.

Which customer type can you recognize and what is the best way of dealing with them?

The analytical type of customer will tell you even the smallest details during their complaint. They will support what they have to say with statistics and figures and they will be aware of the tiniest details of the terms and conditions of the contract. It’s very important that in your answer you support your statement with similar facts, and do not even accidentally say anything that you are not 100% sure about. Rather, ask for their patience so you can look up the information. They would prefer that you consult a specialist on the given subject.

The dominant client expresses their opinion very loudly. They don’t get into complicated, long monologues, nor are they bothered if a lot of people hear about the harm done to them. We often hear, “I want to talk to your supervisor”. In this case, a practical solution may be to try to compensate them with special attention and high-quality service. The extra compensation will pay off. The dominant client will tell several of their friends about their complaints and what extra service they received. This way we get free positive advertising.

The laid-back, friendly customer will tell you what happened to them in a kind tone. They would refer to how embarrassed they were in front of their family/friends. For them, a coupon or some free service they can give to their friends can be great compensation. We can also offer to visit with their friends if this is important to them.

We will rarely encounter a complaint from an aloof customer, at most they will send us their grievance in writing. In this case, we get the least chance of improving our service. In-person, we would see in their facial expression and reactions that they don’t like something, but in most cases, this type of customer doesn’t share their negative feelings with us, despite our questions.

Complaints are the tip of the iceberg. Why?

The diversity of our customers is also reflected in the tone of incoming complaints. We know that among our different types of clients, some are more modest, some are quieter, and some of them like their voices to be heard. If we do not manage this diversity properly, we can easily make a mistake: based on the few complaints we receive, we may think that there is no problem. We have to think about how many clients or partners we have who have experienced similar issues but still haven’t complained for some reason. How many could there be who just shrug and say, “No one will care about me anyway”?

The complaints we receive, at first, may resemble a small chunk of ice floating in the water, but we should treat the problem hidden in them as a huge iceberg. Not only do we handle the specific complaint in this case, but we also look for a solution for the root of the problem. This will ensure that our customers who have not made a complaint so far are also satisfied.

+1 tip

Investigating complaints with the intent to correct them will affect your business. Processing the experience and making changes may only be reflected in the numbers in the long run, but it is worth it. Customer satisfaction must be a concern for every business, as satisfied customers will be the ones to come back to us and offer our services to others. The customer experience, i.e. how our customer feels about our company, is usually measured by the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Most large companies already use this research tool.

A satisfied, returning customer is every business’s dream. After handling customer complaints properly, the next step for your business is to concentrate on returning customers. Start by reading the related posts as well.

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