Nobody enjoys a negative customer experience.
Not the unhappy customers, nor the business owner.
But it’s something we’ll experience on one side of the fence or the other, over and over again.
Back in the day, word of mouth was all we had to really worry about.
Now, the internet and social media take any and all privacy out of negative customer experiences if the customer feels like venting to an audience.
Off the top of your head can you think of an instance when a bad customer experience made the news?
The amount of sites people complain on is staggering.
Not just your basic social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
People leave reviews on Google, Yahoo, and even job search sites like Glassdoor and Indeed.
Social media has given everyone their own version of a megaphone.
A sounding horn.
Whatever you want to call it.
Of course, organizations would love to deal with the problems in private.
But whether we like it or not, that isn’t how things work anymore.
So, let’s talk about what to do with unhappy customers who make sure everyone hears about their negative experience.
Dealing with Unhappy Customers
When a customer is unhappy with your products or services, you probably have an ideal image in your head about how this will all play out.
You’ll apologize, they’ll be grateful, and you’ll rectify the situation and keep a valued customer.
That is ONE of a whole spectrum of possibilities.
And the chance a customer chooses this scenario is pretty darn slim.
Because of this, you should be prepared to deal with as much as you can.
Above all else, you want unhappy customers to come to you with their problem so you can fix it.
You’re the expert on the subject and (hopefully) they trust you to know how to handle it.
This is a topic you should cover during your onboarding process.
Do You Have a Customer Service Policy?
If your organization doesn’t have a policy to handle customer complaints, it’s something you need to add.
It will give you a solid set of guidelines to follow in situations where you might get rattled or thrown off your game.
Plus, you’re not the only person who handles customer complaints.
You can’t be everywhere at once and at some point, a complaint is going to arise when you aren’t available.
This will help your customer-facing team members know what to do and follow the guidelines as well.
And it keeps your reactions consistent, which is a bonus.
What if They Take it Public?
That said, it’s likely unhappy customers will take their complaints online.
Whether they’re angry and want a group of people standing behind them or they aren’t sure exactly where to go to address their complaint, there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to air their grievances publicly and loudly on social media.
Some industries are more prone to it than others, but all organizations run the risk of it happening to them.
And it’s important to know how to calm the emotions and solve the customer’s problem in a way that shows your community you’re listening and committed to helping.
On This Episode of the Spin Sucks Podcast…
We’ve packed a lot of great information into this podcast including:
- How to make handling customer complaints easier
- Why you should have a process for handling complaints
- Why empowering your team when dealing with complaints is important
- How to deal with public complaints on social media
- The three-step process you should use every time
How do you handle customer complaints? Is it the same every time? Do you have any tips to add? We’d love to hear them!