Dealing with upset, frustrated, angry, and/or enraged customers can be tricky, especially face-to-face. How should you respond to them when they come to you telling, or even yelling, about their experience? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not what your initial gut reaction is telling you in the heat of the moment.
In part 1, Understand and Always Be Optimizing Your Customer Experience, I expressed that no customer experience is perfect and you’re going to have to deal with upset customers in any business. Don’t let that frustrate you because you should be excited when a customer approaches you upset about an aspect of your business (i.e. product, service, etc.)
You might be asking yourself, “Why should I be excited to have an upset customer?” Let me answer your question with another question:
Would you rather have an upset customer who comes to you explaining why they are upset or an upset customer who leaves your business without saying anything to you, but ends up telling family members, friends, neighbors, and/or colleagues?
When a customer comes to you upset about your product, service, and/or your business as a whole, they are really saying, “I believe your business is better than this. What are you going to do for me so I continue to be a customer for your business?” Here are some fantastic statistics from 50 facts about customer service to bring home the point:
“For every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent.”
“96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back.”
– 1Financial Training services.
“A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience.”
– White House Office of Consumer Affairs.
“It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.”
– Bain & Company.
So when an upset customer decides to complain about any aspect of your business you really should be thanking them. They are giving you the chance to let you prove to them that you truly care about their business, and when you do that you turn their negative experience into a positive experience.
Even with all the facts to why you should be welcoming upset customers with excitement, it still can be difficult to do it. It’s especially hard for a small business owner, who pours their heart and soul into their business. I have an acronym I am going to give you in part 3 of this blog series to help keep you level headed and remind you how to approach any upset customer successfully.