5 Tips for Handling Unhappy Customers

There are more ways than ever before for your customers to voice their satisfactory and frustrating experiences with your business, product or service. Each positive and negative comment can make or break your next potential customer. It is important to handle each customer interaction with patience and care.

1. Listen

Customers become disgruntled for many reasons, some justified and some not so. The first step to properly resolving conflicts with unhappy customers is to listen to what they’re telling you. Make sure your customer feels heard, despite your feelings about their concerns.

Hastily responding to an unhappy customer by trying to forge a solution too soon can backfire and cause the customer to become more upset. Often times, a customer is just looking to vent and know their message is being heard, and so immediately cutting to a solution will leave the customer feeling like you didn’t take the time to listen to their needs.

Maintain proper body language. Keep eye contact, nod your head and stand up straight. Look attentive.

2. Empathize

Think back to your last dissatisfactory service experience as a customer. We’ve all faced it at one time or another. Why were you upset? What caused it? What did you want the employees to do or say to rectify the situation?

Empathy is a powerful social skill that can help you to strengthen your customer service abilities. Simply letting your unhappy customer know that you see where they’re coming from and you understand their feelings can go a long way in breaking tension and resolving conflicts. Seeing the situation from their vantage point can help you better assess how to resolve it. If you were feeling how they were feeling, what would you want?

3. Sympathize

Respect and understanding are so important when dealing with unhappy customers. As stated earlier, unhappy customers want to know their complaints are being heard. Actively sympathizing and expressing remorse for their unpleasant customer experience can be the first step in conducting damage control, especially when interacting with unhappy customers on social media, where they can be unrelentingly cruel and their complaints can be viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.

4. Resolve the Conflict

Many times, customers simply want to share a dissatisfactory experience with a manager or business owner, and leave it at that. But often, you will have a customer who wants you do to something for him or her to repair the situation. It’s always best to do all that you can to rectify the problem and turn your unhappy customer into a happy one.

Going out of your way to accommodate a customer’s needs makes them feel special and will leave them with a positive story to share with friends and family. If you can, give the customer more than he or she asks for. By going above and beyond their own expectations of your service, you can make that person feel like your most valued customer.

5. Look For a Way to Improve

Don’t forget, customer feedback is the surest way of finding out if anything is going wrong within your business. While it’s easy to get defensive when faced with criticism, remember that each critique is an opportunity to improve your product or service, so listen carefully to what your customer is saying. If it is a complaint you’ve heard from other customers at different times, perhaps it’s time to reassess that element of your business and look to see where it can be improved.

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Three Essential Principles of Employer Branding

Employer branding is the process by which a company markets itself in order to attract desired prospective employees. It is, in a nutshell, marketing for human resources. For employers, investing in things like workplace culture, strong leadership and employee development are paramount to a business’ success, because these are the kinds of characteristics job seekers look for in a workplace.

What are the biggest factors that affect job seekers?

According to Bersin by Deloitte, the most important factors that affect job seekers are a company’s ratings on culture and values, career opportunities and confidence in senior leadership. While salary, benefits and work-life balance are still important factors to job seekers, it is these more nuanced components of a company that bear the most weight with prospective job seekers. After all, you can always make more money, but you can never get back the time wasted at a dead-end job.

Culture and Values

It is important to prospective job seekers that they work for a company in which they can take pride and with whom they can personally align themselves. Prospective employees want to work somewhere that has good workplace culture and practices values that are in line with their own. Many people don’t want to work for a company they feel has questionable ethics or immoral business practices, nor do they want to be associated with one.

Career Opportunities

Most people strive for a lifelong career, and so they look for companies that have many available career opportunities. Specifically, they look and see if current high-level employees at the company started out at lower level positions and worked their way up. Many people know a person who didn’t get that big promotion they were holding out for because their company decided on an outside hire. Prospective employees, therefore, consider hiring from within to be a moral business practice.

Confidence in Senior Leadership

Nobody enjoys working for a buffoon or a corrupt manager. When a company’s leaders are doing the right things and instilling confidence in their teams, those attitudes and successes trickle down to the lowest level employees.

Benefits to the business

Successful employer branding makes it easy for companies to hire quality employees, reduce employee turnover and increase profitability. Employer branding creates a good reputation, which can keep the business from regularly paying out thousands of dollars in missed funds, additional wages and employee turnover costs.

Remember, no amount of employer branding can compensate for unsavory or unethical business practices. Employer branding will yield the clearest benefits to a business when that business being branded already has a work culture that’s worth showing off.