It’s going to happen. Someone in your company is going to make a mistake that angers a customer. A three-step approach will keep that customer happy and coming back.
These are listed in the book When Customers Talk, by T. Scott Gross, who has served as a consumer consultant to many Fortune 500 corporations:
1. Agree with the customer. When customers are angry, agree with them and share your concern about their problems. This is very different from being angry with the customer. If you agree with the customer, it’s almost impossible for the customer to be angry with you. Agreeing doesn’t mean that you’re accepting blame for the situation for you or your company. It simply sets a better tone for resolving the complaint.
2. Ask the customer’s input on a solution. Simply asking, “What will make you happy?” is a good way to solve a problem. This straightforward question can establish a common ground for finding a reasonable solution.
3. Take responsibility. You can solve the problem, learn something and help your customer all in one process if you take charge. Customers usually ask for less once you offer to help. Once they have a complaint resolved, customers usually move toward the loyalty end of the scale.