No one likes it when something goes wrong, and that’s especially true when it comes to an online transaction. But if you find yourself in a situation where you’re dealing a customer complaint, then you’re potentially in a position to improve your situation for both you and your customer! But how?
The Recovery Paradox
If a customer shopping with you and/or your website never has an issue, then the loyalty of that customer will go up at a slow, steady rate. However, counter to what you might think, sometimes the fastest way to increase customer loyalty is when things go wrong!
It all depends on your ability to provide a successful outcome. Obviously, customer loyalty is “in crisis” when something goes wrong, and a customer is upset about something. However, with attentive handling of the issue, personal attention, and a “happy ending,” at the conclusion, the fact that you successfully and empathetically handled the issue causes a sharp “spike” in customer loyalty that wouldn’t have occurred if you’d never interacted with the customer. In fact, some of the best customer testimonies for a company often come from people who have had problems successfully addressed.
Empathize & Apologize
When someone is experiencing an issue, active listening and empathy are especially important. You won’t understand how to solve a problem unless you understand exactly why the problem is occurring. Be empathetic with the customer, apologize for the difficulty.
And most important of all, take action!
Put the emphasis on what can be done, not what the customer is out of luck on. Take that action, execute it with consideration, and don’t just default to refunds. Most of the time, people don’t want their money back, they want whatever is they intended to buy to be in working order. Refunds should only occur if there is no other satisfactory way to address a customer’s problem.