Anyone in business would want to satisfy his or her customers. It is the wish of every business owner to continuously be in a customer’s good book. While this is desirable, it is not always achievable. There are times when the customer will not be satisfied with the decisions or changes you make in your business.
On detecting any sign that there is a problem, many people take it upon themselves and try to solve the customer’s problem. You may have tried everything you learned while in school/training about solving your customer’s problem without making a headway. There will be a point when you have to do a self-check to find out if you are actually providing a lasting solution to your customers’ problem. There are reasons why you might be having difficulties solving your customer’s problem.
Now let’s take a brief look at them.
Not listening to the customer – If a customer has an issue with your business product or service, the first thing you ought to do is listen to him or her. Many business owners work so hard on trying to show the customer that they are not at fault. No matter how calm you are in trying to explain your own part of the story, the customer won’t buy it. If you are interested in truly sorting out the problem, consciously listen to the customer.
Not accepting that you are at fault – The term; “the customer is always right” has been adopted by many companies because of how important it is to accept that you are at fault. It won’t kill you to accept that the fault is actually yours. In developed countries where customers are more valued, a company can go all out to apologize to a dissatisfied customer even if the fault is not entirely theirs. When you are at fault, please acknowledge that you are at fault. This helps to calm your customer and prevent them from giving your company bad review.
Not weighing the available options – Online shopping stores especially came under attack some years after they came on board for their inability to tackle customer complaints. If there was a problem that the customer is pointing out; maybe a mobile phone that stopped working 2 days after purchase, these companies would fail to abide by their 7-days return policy. This did not go down well with some customers. In such situation, the best thing would be to weigh their option by at least asking for a return of the phone and probably replacing it with a new one or refunding the customer’s money. Thankfully, the story has changed. If you place a report on any of the items you purchased from them within 7 days after delivery, you will be entitled to a replacement or refund. You can adopt this method. Weigh your options before dismissing a customer.
Not paying attention to the cause of the problem – No complaint from a customer should go unchecked or without being given an attention. If you are serious about solving your customer’s problem, you should always check out what led to the dissatisfaction in the first place. Do not dismiss the cause of the problem or it will come up again when you least expect it to.
Not trying to make up for the wrong – Alright, you have identified the problem and now what? You should ensure that you make up for the problem and inconveniences the customer may have encountered. You should be sincere in your approach to making up for whatever made the customer unhappy in the first place. This will portray you as a company that cares about its customers. That customer will also sing your praise before others.
Not addressing the issue on time – Although you have accepted to make up for the wrong, how soon you address the issue can either make or mar your efforts at brokering peace with the dissatisfied customer. In the case of the online shopping stores that was cited above, if they agree to get a customer a replacement for a faulty phone and it took them 3 months to do so, no matter how much that customer loves that phone, the excitement won’t be there when the company finally delivers another one. So, it is important to address issues on time and not let it linger if you want to solve your customer’s problem.
Not following up on the customers – How you treat a once dissatisfied customer will determine if you were truly sorry for the mistake. If after replacing a customer’s faulty phone and the online store still calls a week later to find out if the customer has any complaint on the phone, this will go a long way to heal any grudges such customer may have been harbouring against the vendor.
I know it’s easier said than done, but if you make the effort to make things right with the customer and take note of the points I explained above, you will be able to solve your customer’s problems pleasingly most time, if not every time.
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