When Saying Sorry isn’t Enough

It can happen. You come across an unhappy customer who has left a negative review on your WOMO profile and despite an apology, the customer remains unhappy. When saying ‘sorry’ is not enough to appease the customer, Business Specialist Dail Wilson shares a few tips that will turn a grumbling reviewer into a loyal and happy customer.

Contact the Customer

When a public apology has little effect, it is best to follow up with the disgruntled customer directly. Respond to the review or comment publicly so existing and potential customers can see you are a responsive and transparent business, but avoid revealing the intricacies of the problem. Instead, mention that you will contact the customer directly to go over the details of the review.

When you reach the customer on the phone, apologise again but remember it is not a matter of right or wrong. At this point, it is more important to make the customer happy once again.

Empathise and Engage

As you converse directly with the customer, make a genuine effort to empathise and validate their concern, regardless of who is at fault. Stress to the customer that you care about them individually and personally. Everyone makes mistakes but what will differentiate you from your competitors is the way you engage with an unhappy client. Don’t take the feedback personally but be genuine and considerate in the way you respond.

Move Forward

Demonstrate your eagerness to build a future relationship with the customer. The key to transforming a displeased client into a satisfied customer is to involve them throughout the journey until they are happy with the outcome. This step will differ depending on the nature of your service and product, but you can propose to do the work again or offer a discount. Don’t be afraid to ask the customer what you can do to ensure they are satisfied.

Be Proactive

When you are certain that the customer is happy once again, don’t hesitate to ask the customer to respond to the initial review they provided. Don’t bully the client into removing a negative review as it will be to your advantage if future customers can track the problem, read your response and see a happy customer at the end of it all.

When it comes to future customers, always remember that it takes time for a customer to become unhappy. It is important to touch base with your clients throughout their experience with your business to ensure that if a problem arises, you are aware and ready to respond before a negative review is uploaded.

Shona

Hi! I'm a huge supporter of local businesses and love reading community newspapers. I enjoy a good cup of coffee and with the help of WOMO reviewers, I always find a cosy cafe to visit.