Helpful Tips for Dealing with Unhappy Online Customers
Online customers are no different from those who make purchases from brick-and-mortar companies. They expect a superior product and/or service, as well as outstanding customer service and support. Even if your company provides customers with great service, dealing with a difficult customer is part of business. Sometimes, the customer is unhappy with a situation that was out of your control. However, a certain behavior, comment, or lack of support from within often is to blame.
Enhancing the Customer’s Experience
The tips provided will help in dealing with an unhappy online customer is a more effective way.
- Listen – In many cases, an unhappy customer simply wants someone to listen. Before jumping in to offer a remedy, take a few minutes to hear what the customer has to say. For one thing, this will help in providing the right solution. There is also a good chance that you can learn something of value that will benefit the company.
- Take Immediate Action – While some problems take time to resolve, make sure that everyone in the company who offers customer service has the ability to help the customer immediately. Obviously, there needs to be a chain of command, but it is important for the customer service team to have some flexibility in making decisions. Usually, if someone can fix part of a problem right away, that customer will continue to be loyal in spite of the situation.
- Adopt a New Mindset – When dealing with an unhappy online customer, adopt the mindset of putting that person first. To accomplish this, look at the situation from the customer’s viewpoint as opposed to your own. In addition, set any personal feelings aside. Even if the criticism is unjust, your goal is to make the customer feel important. Remember, the customer does not know you personally, so any harsh words are simply an expression of frustration.
- Confirm the Problem – As part of listening, it helps to repeat the issue back. As you communicate with the customer, maintain a calm voice and speak slowly. This confirms that you are listening and taking the situation seriously. By not getting excited along with the customer, you deescalate the problem.
- Be Apologetic – Even if the problem originated because of something the customer did, show empathy and apologize. Letting the customer know that you understand why he or she is upset and agreeing that you would feel the same way in that situation creates an instant connection.