Do you wonder how you should respond to an unhappy customer? Are you worried about getting into a heated discussion? No matter what they're about, complaints from customers don't spell the end of your relationship with themquite the opposite, in fact. Handling customer feedback, and especially negative feedback, is a crucial step that when done well will let you retain even your most dissatisfied customers. Read on to learn about our four tips for dealing with customer dissatisfaction.

9 times out of 10, your customer will remain loyal to your company after a mishap…but only if you resolve the situation (Lee Resources). Customer relationships is not about knowing who is wrong or right, but rather the willingness to do things properly. It's never easy to deal with an unhappy customer, but be careful about falling into the customer phobia trap. With the right approach, many situations can be resolved.

1. Change your mindset 

No matter the point of contact, whether it’s by phone, email, direct message on Facebook, or even in person, when dealing with an unhappy customer you should always put yourself in their shoes. Set all your personal feelings aside, even if the client is in the wrong.

No matter how annoyed your customer is, he or she is not out to ruin your business. When customers contact you to tell you they are unsatisfied, they above all want to be heard. While resolving the problem is not strictly necessary, you do need to take it into consideration.

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how to treat insatisfaction of your customers

2. Listen to your customer closely

The most important step when dealing with an unhappy customer, and indeed the key step in any relationship, is to actively listen to what the other person has to say. Starting with your first few conversations, try to establish a relationship of trust and transparency with your customer. Show him or her that you are truly ready to listen.

If your customer sees that you are listening to the problem, that you understand why he or she is upset, and that you are working to find a solution, you are well on your way to resolving the situation.

First, determine the scope of the complaint. What is the customer unhappy with? Why? Is it the company's fault? You’ll find the answer to these questions and more through active listening.

Don’t come to any hasty conclusions; resist the desire to resolve a problem instantly. Only move on to the next step after your customer has finished explaining themselves.

3. Rephrase the reasons why the customer is dissatisfied 

Now that you have all the information you need, take the time to rephrase the customer’s problems to show that you’ve been listening closely and that you’ve understood them. If you didn’t quite grasp everything, the customer can always explain again.

Use simple and objective words. For example, you can say, “If I’ve understood correctly, you are dissatisfied because you did not receive your order in time.” 

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Traiter l'insatisfaction client par téléphone

4. Be empathetic, and offer a solution

Since you started speaking with your customer, you have worked to put yourself in his or her shoes. Now is the time to show that you are empathetic and that you have thought about and understood the situation.

If you are speaking with the customer directly, don’t forget your body language is another method of communication. Make sure your non-verbal communication is saying the same thing as your words. The customer will pick up on these kinds of details.

If it turns out that the reason your customer is unhappy is the fault of your company, apologise and offer a satisfactory solution. If you are not at fault, still apologise, but do so for a different reason. For example, you can say, “We are sorry to hear you didn't have a good experience in our store.” In any case, you should provide your customer with a solution.

For example, you can offer a present or a discount on his or her next purchase. Feel free to be creative here—there’s nothing better than a customer that's been pleasantly surprised. For example, the Estonian start-up Sorry as a Service lets you outsource your apologies with a human touch. Some customers have even received cakes with an apology written in icing—a rather strong message that can be used to admit when you're wrong.

Once you’ve decided on a solution with your customer, reassure him or her by explaining what will come next. Depending on the situation, feel free to follow up with the customer over the short term. Just make sure your customer is truly satisfied with your solution.

These four steps require a very positive attitude. Many positive developments can come from a dissatisfied customer. Customer feedback, especially negative feedback, is a valuable source of information. Listen to your dissatisfied customers, and feel free to make a call when you can. What better way to impress your customer than by giving him or her a call back? After all, there's just one step that separates satisfaction from dissatisfaction. 

Call To Action Ebook Handling Customer Feedback