60 Second Guides: Managing Upset Customers

Having respect for your customers will ensure their faith in and loyalty to you and your business. Studies show that it is nine times more difficult to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, so it is critical to keep your customers happy. Surveys, focus groups and questionnaires are among the ways to measure your customers’ perceptions of you and determine how to improve. 

If you discover that a customer is dissatisfied, take action immediately to win back their confidence in the services you provide. People like to know that their opinion counts and if they feel like you care about what they think, they will think positive thoughts about you and your business.

In just 60-seconds, you’ll learn how to manage upset customers and turn them into long-term, satisfied customers.

Thumbs Down0:60 Stay Calm 

Listen carefully to your customers’ complaints without interrupting. Acknowledge that there is a problem and empathize with upset customers. Let them know what you can do for them and make them aware of all of their options. Always treat your customers with respect. Customers should sense that you are calm, but concerned. Your attitude when dealing with upset customers should be professional, mature, pleasant and reasonable.

0:46 Work at Gaining Loyal Customers
The number one reason that customers stop buying from a business is because they were treated poorly by someone. It is much more cost effective to retain loyal customers than to gain new ones. In order to create loyalty, you have to calm down upset customers and ensure them that you will work to find a solution that they deem acceptable. Let them know that their business is important. Thank them for their patience and cooperation. In many cases, it pays to reward upset customers in order to keep their business.

0:38 Look & Act Professional 
A first impression is a lasting impression. Your appearance should signal that you are professional, mature and knowledgeable. Nonverbal communication also says a lot. Your body language and tone of voice should be polite and tactful. Pay attention to your facial expressions, posture, gestures and speech.

0:20 Choose Who You Want to Do Business With
There are some people who will never be happy with your products or services. Repeated complaints from a customer and terminal dissatisfaction are signs that you cannot please him or her. Your business is better off without such customers and you may want to refer them elsewhere.

0:11 Ensure that Mistakes Aren’t Repeated
Once you determine the problem and how it originated, you can take steps to ensure that it does not happen again. Learning about a problem can actually help improve your business if you make sure that the problem is avoided in the future. Don’t make the same mistake twice. In dealing with upset customers, you also learn about human behavior and become better at resolving similar situations in the future.

0:03 Don’t Take Criticism Personally
Many discourteous customers act that way because they made a mistake and want to blame someone else. Don’t let these customers get to you by responding emotionally or giving in to outrageous demands. Tears, anger and sarcasm are inappropriate reactions.

Have a question about managing upset customers? Connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community today!