You pride yourself on offering quality products, valuable services, and exceptional customer service, but you’re bound to make a mistake at some point. Product failures and customer service issues are part of doing business. Luckily, making a mistake doesn’t have to doom your business or even prevent a client from returning, but how you respond to dissatisfied customers makes an impact on how you recover.
Owning up to the mistake helps smooth things over immediately. Offer a sincere apology without making excuses or passing the blame onto someone else. Admitting you messed up is never easy, but it shows you’re human, you recognize your mistake, and you’re listening to the consumer.
On top of that, being heard can help calm an irate customer. Let the client or customer express the complaint about your service without interrupting. Listen to what the customer is saying so you can form a respectful and helpful response. The customer may tell you upfront what you can do to fix the situation. The person might ask you to repair the work, give a refund, or offer a replacement product, for example. If you aren’t sure what the customer wants to remedy the mistake, ask in a direct and respectful way. Simply asking how you can resolve the situation shows you are willing to make things right.
Even if the customer asks for something simple, you can give more to really show you’re sorry for the mistake. For instance, if a customer receives a broken product and wants a replacement, you might send out the new product via express shipment for free. If your restaurant customer receives an incorrect meal, you might comp their meal or offer dessert on the house. Those little extras help make up for the initial mistake and restore the customer’s faith in your company.
Staying calm and taking a customer-first approach can help your business recover when you make a mistake. Fixing the situation quickly fosters good customer relations which helps you retain the client and maintain your business’ reputation.