How to Apologize to an Upset Customer (And ensure return of business)

Angry customers are hurting your business. When your customers are upset with the quality of service experienced, you risk losing revenue, losing to competitors and damaging your brand. Let me explain.

  • You lose to competitors: 33% of customers consider switching companies after one bad customer service experience.
  • You lose revenue: 52% of customers stop purchasing from a company after a bad customer service experience.
  • You damage your brand: Complainants tell twice as many people about their negative experience than satisfied customers do, resulting in poor word-of-mouth and greatly reduced referrals.

Unfortunately, upset customers are sometimes inevitable. So what can you do to minimize the damage, and better yet, retain your customers and grow profits?

Apologize (Even when the customer is wrong)
37% of unhappy customers felt content when offered compensation for their concerns. However, when an apology accompanied the compensation, satisfaction rates rose to a staggering 74%.
Therefore, mastering the art of the apology is crucial. But how exactly do we go about it? Read on.

Acknowledge the Mistake
Admit the mistake and take responsibility for the poor service. Customers not only appreciate honesty, they also respect accountability.

Empathize with them
Acknowledging the customer’s frustration, listen actively, be present and put yourself in their shoes. When customers feel you genuinely care, they’re more likely to accept your apology and return for repeat business.

Offer a Solution (or compensate them)
An apology is only as strong as its solution. However, if you can’t offer a solution, the next best move is to offer compensation.
This will show your sincerity, and it can be as easy as a refund, discount, free shipping, or even a small letter of apology.

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