So, despite all your best efforts and training, you messed up, and a customer is upset. What now?

The most important thing you can do for your customer is to:

  • acknowledge the problem,
  • apologize, and
  • accept responsibility.

Accept Blame

It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t your fault, but rather the fault of the delivery truck, tailor, busboy, the weather, someone coming in late, or even another customer. You are to blame no one. It’s time to face the music.

The Customer Is Never Wrong

We don’t like the expression, “The Customer Is Always Right” – because, sometimes they are not right. Customers make mistakes too.

They’re bringing you an old coupon, they took the wrong coffee off the counter, they bought the wrong size, they didn’t order what they thought they wanted off of the menu.

While all that may be the case, as far as you and your employees are concerned, customers are NEVER wrong.

Do what you can to solve the problem on the spot. A customer doesn’t like their coffee? Make them a new one. They were shipped the wrong dress, in the wrong color? Offer to send them the correct item, overnight, free of charge.

Train your employees to keep a cool head and assure the customer that you will follow through. Most dissatisfied customers become increasingly worked up because they feel as if no one cares about their problem. Your goal is to make sure your customer knows that you do care and that you will do your best to make it up to them.

To give you even more of a head start on providing excellent service to your customers, here is a list of common complaints from customers:

  • Can’t get a return call/email.
  • Can’t get an update on an order.
  • The employee claims to be an expert when they aren’t (does not act in the best interest of the customer).
  • Over-promising, under-delivering to get the sale.

And, here are the behaviors to remedy/prevent each complaint:

  • Call/email your customer back on the same business day.
  • Update your customer on the status of their order before they call to ask.
  • Train your employees to be experts, or have them refer customers to the experts.
  • Always underpromise and over deliver.