Customer Satisfaction Levels (2 of 3) - Dissatisfaction to Satisfaction
In the previous part of this three-part blog series, we discussed the levels of customer satisfaction and how to identify customers who are at the dissatisfied stage. In this blog, we will go over how to turn a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied customer.
Talking to Dissatisfied Customers
When you receive a complaint from a dissatisfied customer, you need to handle it carefully if you want that customer to return to a satisfied state. Here are some strategies that you should implement when having that conversation:
- Handle things through the phone: Some of your complaints you may receive through email, through social media, or through your company’s ticketing system. When you read a message that you believe may be from a dissatisfied customer, get in contact with them over the phone instead of replying to their message through the computer. Otherwise, the customer may misinterpret what you type back to them and get even angrier. If you don’t have that individual’s phone number, encourage them to call you to resolve their issue.
- Give them your ear: Don’t try to interpret the client’s problem halfway through what they are saying. Let them put everything out on the table. You may find out that they just needed to vent their frustrations; many customers will calm down and realize the issue they are complaining about isn’t as big of a deal as they believed it was when they first discovered the issue. Listen well so you can get to the root of the problem, and best resolve it for them.
- Say the right thing: If you misspeak when addressing the situation, it is likely to set off the person you’re talking to. Apologize for the inconvenience that occured if a mistake was made by your company or technology. You can include specific things from what they told you in your apology to show that you were listening to their problems. But, don’t apologize if you shouldn’t - customers would rather see the problem fixed over hearing just an apology. You can instead thank them for their feedback, and then explain what you’ll do to rectify the situation.
- Speak the right way: Make sure that your voice doesn’t have a tone to it that the customer interprets as rude or uncaring. Lower the volume of your voice, and speak slowly. It’s important to not give off the impression that there’s an emergency; you will lose your sense of control and the customer will likely panic and lash out.
- Control your emotions: The person you are speaking to might start attacking you directly if they don’t feel that you are handling the situation the way they want it to be handled. This may even include unprofessional language, such as swearing. Remain calm, and don’t take their attacks personally.
Turning Dissatisfaction Into Satisfaction
There are a few different strategies to follow when setting up your business to turn those frowns upside down.
- Handle things quickly: Do your best to handle the issues as quickly as possible. If this is something that cannot be resolved quickly, give the customer a timeframe in which it is expected to be completed and provide them with frequent updates throughout the process of fixing things.
- Avoid escalation, when possible: Your employees may get those calls where the client says “let me speak to your manager” as soon as the call begins. We all know the type. The situation should try to be resolved first by the person fielding the call.
- Monitor your ‘repeat callers’: Keep track of the types of calls and emails you are receiving for each of your clients. Clients who are repeatedly contacting you about issues are likely not having their service expectations met. Focus on resolving the client’s current issues, as well as anticipating and “forward-resolving” other related issues.
- Collect feedback frequently: Do your best to collect feedback as frequently as possible from your clients so you can recognize any of your business’ problem areas. Provide your clients with multiple ways to give you feedback, and remind them that these ways exist.
- Train your employees: Train all of your employees on what they should say and do when encountering a dissatisfied customer. This will make it easier to turn those customers into satisfied ones.
- Don’t use discounts unless you need to: Offering clients a discount to remedy their discontent can be effective, but it should be a last ditch effort and not done on a frequent basis. Otherwise, your clients will realize that they just need to call in and complain if they want to pay less for one of your services.
Stopping Dissatisfaction Before It Occurs
Your business won’t have to spend an ample amount of time attempting to turn dissatisfied customers into satisfied ones if you have strategies in place that can minimize the frequency of it occurring in the first place:
- Practice due diligence: When doing any sort of work for a client, make sure that things are done right the first time so that issues that can be avoided, are. When applicable, have your employees check each other’s work before anything reaches the client so you can make needed revisions. This will minimize the chances that something goes wrong.
- Get ahead of mass issues: When an issue occurs that affects multiple clients, send out a mass communication via email to all those you believe to be affected by the issue. Give them a timeline on when the issue will be resolved.
- Have a plan: Make sure that you are prepared for the unexpected at all times. Have a standardized process in place that you can go through when issues do arise so that the negative impact on your clients is minimized.
- Learn and improve: When you receive feedback from dissatisfied customers, make changes to the way you do things so that the issue is unlikely to occur again.
Don’t Get Caught Doing The Wrong Thing
Contact us for help in mitigating the effects of dissatisfaction. And, be on the lookout for the final part of our blog series, which will discuss turning customer satisfaction into customer delight.