What follows is a guest post about a topic I frequently get asked about: What can we learn from a negative customer interaction. It’s very helpful and something you can use in your small business right away.
Every business has negative customer interactions at some point.
There is no possible way to make every person happy all of the time. No matter how hard you try to make all of your customers happy, someone will eventually have a problem with your product or your service.
The negative interaction can be a learning moment for you and your employees. Every negative interaction can teach business owners something, including:
What’s Wrong With a Product
If customers are complaining about a product, then it is time to check it out.
More than three or four bad reviews of a product or service means there is something wrong somewhere. Even if your product is perfect, there could have been a few made with defects.
Take the time to investigate and replace the product or refund the customer’s money. Be polite and understand that like you, your customers expect to receive a quality product for their money.
Identifying a problem in the service can be a little more difficult.
This isn’t to say that you can’t find the problem. The difficulty can come in when it is an employee causing the problem.
You can speak with the staff member, but if many complaints keep coming in you will need to make a decision – fire the employee or place them in a non-customer service position.
Improve Customer Service
Customer service is important because you will interact with your customers on a personal level.
Customers are the lifeblood of a business. Without them and their flow of income to your company – your company dies.
When negative interactions happen, think on how you can improve your approach with the next customer. Every interaction should give you the tools to deal with the next customer.
Perhaps you deal with a very angry customer.
During your interaction the customer becomes happy with a solution you offer and calms down.
Use the same tactic with the next negative customer if the situation is applicable. If not, try a different, but similar tactic. You will always be able to use calming tactics with all irate customers.
Of course, not every customer can be calmed, but if you make the effort you will find out which customer will become a happier one.
Negative reviews on social networks can be devastating for a business.
Everyone has heard of the insane mistakes some company owners have made when dealing with negative reviews. If you receive negative reviews on your social network account, don’t become super defensive. Instead, take time to offer a solution to the customers.
Don’t suggest that they use your website’s customer support email – so many companies never answer or are rude. Give a direct answer on your social account, but never get into an argument. Keep it civil and always be professional.
Negative interactions can be used to improve your business as long as you react correctly.
Keep calm, keep cool, and remember that the customer is always right (well, most of the time).
About the Author: Tina Samuels writes on ripoff report advice, social media, small business topics, and home improvement.