6 Ways to Win Back an Unhappy Customer

How many times have you heard the phrase “The Customer is Always Right”? Hundreds, at least, right? But in practice, what is perhaps more important than the customer always being right, is the customer being “always happy.” Not only can you lose business from an unhappy customer, but also referrals — or worse, your brand’s reputation. Fortunately, there are some ways to in back an unhappy customer.

1) Listen to customer complaints. Customer service managers and small business owners should make it a point to find out what made the customer unhappy. Not only can this help you correct the immediate problem with this customer, but it can help you to implement business-wide changes that could cause other customers to be unsatisfied because of the same issue. Be the customer’s advocate and dig deep to the source of their complaint.

2) Respond promptly.
Always be prompt when responding to a customer complaint. Take immediate action to rectify the customers’ unhappiness with your product or service.

3) Apologize. Even if you feel your business isn’t in the wrong, considering apologizing to the unhappy customer. Remember, the customer is always right, even if they aren’t. Sending a letter with a relevant perk related to your business will show the customer that you not only value their business, but respect them as well.

4) Keep a professional demeanor. Don’t take an angry or emotional customer’s words or behavior personally. Remain calm and professional when discussing the situation. If you become defensive, you stand the chance of making the situation worse — and the customer angrier.

5) Give an immediate discount. In a tough economic climate, everyone wants to save money. To help right a wrong, provide an immediate discount to your customer. If you business provides various levels of service, give the unhappy customer a premium service, which will also help upsell them for future business. Keep in mind, in many cases, it’s harder to gain a new customer than it is to keep an existing one; so do what you can to keep every customer.

6) Over deliver. This is a strategy that works whether a customer is unhappy or not: under promise, but over deliver. Here’s what you do: Tell the customer you will fix the problem by doing X. But when you deliver the fix, give them X — plus Y and Z. The customer will be happy that you addressed their complaint, but they will be tickled that you went above and beyond.

Despite your best effort and intentions, every once and a while you may find yourself with an unhappy customer. If you keep in mind the above six ways to win back an unhappy customer, not only will you win back this customer, but you may find him referring more customers your way.