28 Apr

3 Ways To Improve Relationships With Angry Customers

Posted in customer satisfaction, Customer Service, Synergy Suggestions on 28.04.16 by John Meloche

Businessman holding two papers with happy and angry face each on themIn yesterday’s blog, we revisited the topic of angry customers. It’s a topic that most business owners wish to avoid, but it’s an important one nonetheless. Dealing with disgruntled customers should be seen as learning opportunities. The better you handle such situations, the better you’ll be able to improve your business overall. Your ability to resolve issues with angry customers can actually make or break your company.

So how can you improve your relationships with them? Here are three ways:

1. Don’t take it personally. It isn’t easy to avoid an emotional response to someone who is expressing anger towards you. You’re only human. However, it’s important to keep in mind that when a customer is upset with an aspect of your business, it isn’t a personal attack against you. Give your customer the opportunity to vent and realize that your job is to improve the relationship between the customers and your brand. This person doesn’t have to be your personal friend.

“When a customer is upset, remember that it is not a personal attack,” asserts Shari Waters on About.com, “Let them talk as long as they need to, not only to get it off their chest, but to thoroughly explain the problem. Listen carefully! You cannot fix what you don’t understand, so be sure to ask the customer enough questions to learn what is bothering them. By simply listening, the customer will realize that you are interested in their problem and he/she will eventually calm down enough to discuss the situation in a positive manner.”

2. Endeavour to work with your customer to find a resolution. Don’t assume that you know exactly how to fix a customer’s problem. There’s no better way to come to a resolution than probing your customer to discover exactly what can be done to satisfy him/her. Let your customer know that you care about his/her business and that you’re willing to find a solution that will prove it.

“When your customers decide to purchase your product or service, they commit to a financial relationship with you,” explains Ron Burley on Inc.com, “When problems arise, they want to know that you’re willing to listen and aren’t going to run for the door. A positive statement that you are willing to work with them to find a solution, rather than being their adversary, begins a conversation that can be your best insurance against that customer going rogue and blasting you on the Internet.”

3. Request further feedback. So you’ve resolved an issue. That’s excellent. But have you discovered ways to avoid such incidents in the future? Use the experience to learn more about how you can improve customer relations going forward. Don’t be afraid to ask your customer if there is anything more you can do to improve your business. You may just find it to be the best way to grow your company’s reputation.

“Dealing with each unpleasant customer should be a learning experience,” says Waters, “Customer feedback should be viewed as an opportunity for change. Keep in mind that not all customers can be pleased. Some people are just complainers and nothing you do will change that. But everything you can correct about this situation will help with future events. Keep improving in areas over which you have control.”

Of course, it never hurts to offer your customers useful promotional gifts that bear your company’s name and logo as a way to resolve issues. To place your order for the promo gift of your choice, call Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884 between 9am and 5pm EST or email us at info@gosynergygo.com! You can also sign up for our Insider E-Flyer Program HERE!

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27 Apr

3 Ways To Resolve Issues With Disgruntled Customers

Posted in customer satisfaction, Customer Service, Synergy Suggestions on 27.04.16 by John Meloche

Reaction smiley, vector illustrationGenerally speaking, ensuring customer satisfaction is on the top of to-do lists had by all business owners. However, satisfying customers isn’t always easy. In fact, we’ve all experienced those incidents when customers get upset. Really upset! The last thing any business owner wants is to lose business and anger a member of the buying public who is bound to spread the news about their dissatisfaction. So what to do when customers get angry?

Here are three ways to resolve issues with disgruntled customers:

1. Apologize – sincerely. Saying “sorry” should be the most obvious go-to response to anyone who is upset because of an interaction with your business. Regardless if you feel the occurrence is the fault of your company or not, it’s important to acknowledge that your customer is upset because of it. Be sure to offer genuine apologies as people can easily tell the difference between sincerity and lip service. A disingenuous apology is only bound to make things worse.

On Inc.com, Ron Burley highlights the importance of saying sorry and meaning it. “A sincere apology tells your customer that you regret his having to interrupt his day to make that call,” he writes, “An apology defuses the situation and can allow for a conversation in which you get an opportunity to diagnose what went wrong, with the possibility of preventing similar future problems.”

2. Follow up with the customer post-resolution. Don’t assume that just because your last conversation may have ended on a pleasant note that all is well with the world in the mind of your customer. Be sure to put in a follow up phone call or email to ensure that he/she is still satisfied with the resolution. This will leave a lasting impression that may be the key in encouraging that customer to continue to work with your business in future.

“Whatever promises you make to the customer to resolve the issue, be sure to follow up,” advises Shari Waters on About.com, “Call when you said you would call. Even if you don’t have the resolution, let the customer know you’re sticking to your word. This shows the customer that his/her business is important to you and you’re actively working towards getting things fixed.”

3. Thank the customer for his/her honesty. That’s right. When you have an angry customer to contend with, you should actually include a word of thanks in your response. Why? He/she is offering you the opportunity to improve your business. If there is a facet of your brand that is not being met well with its supporters, your ability to correct the problem will help you to avoid it with any other customers in the future. You should be grateful to have attained this knowledge.

“At first glance, it may seem like your customer should be the one expressing gratitude,” says Burley, “But think about it. In his mind, he paid for a product or service that didn’t perform as expected, and was then required to spend professional or personal time to work out a remedy. On the other hand, you’ve likely gained important information about product performance and how customers perceive your company. In my mind, that’s certainly worth a ‘thank you.’”

Be sure to check back for tomorrow’s blog as we continue to list ways to improve relationships with angry customers!

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19 Feb

3 More Ways To Win Back Your Angry Customers

Posted in customer satisfaction, Synergy Suggestions on 19.02.16 by John Meloche

Pile of hands - Successful business team celebrating their success with a high fiveIn yesterday’s blog, we touched upon a touchy subject – disgruntled customers. No business owner likes to see his/her company as one that can anger a member of the buying public. But no business is immune to the possibilities of losing customers every now and again. Retaining them is made possible through following a number of important steps. We outlined a few of them yesterday, but would like to continue where we left off.

Here are three more ways to win back your angry customers:

1. Attempt to arrange a meeting with the disgruntled customer. One of the first steps to winning back an angry customer is to prove that your heart is truly in repairing the relationship. To get to the bottom of things, you’ll want to arrange a meeting to discuss the particulars of the situation gone wrong. On Entrepreneur.com, Dave Mattson advises that you work to discover the factors that lead your customer to the decision to part ways.

“Don’t be defensive,” he insists, “Take responsibility and apologize, if appropriate. Use the meeting as a means for improving but also as a basis for learning more about your client’s needs. The new service provider may not be asking these questions, resulting in there being a potential opportunity down the road to try to win back the client.”

2. Discover what it was that brought the customer to you in the first place. Sometimes, it’s necessary to remind your customer about what he/she loves about your brand. If you can remind the individual about the benefits of working with you, he/she may be more inclined to give you another chance. On AmericanExpress.com, Ivana Taylor suggests that you compare a list of customers who chose your brand over the competition to one of customers you’ve lost.

“Don’t forget to match those lists against the competitive strengths of your organization,” she recommends, “Don’t just take customers for the sake of having more customers. Focus on delivering on your brand promise and nurturing your customer experience. Only make adjustments that will further those two elements and make a positive impact on your bottom line.”

3. Don’t take it personally. All of us are susceptible to having our feelings hurt. But, remember that when a business relationship goes bad, it isn’t always because of your personality. There is a lot of competition for your business out there. Look at things from the customer perspective and realize that being a person’s best friend isn’t always enough to secure his/her business. Mattson suggests that this attitude can help to grow your business in the long run.

“Don’t become too emotional,” he advises, “Client churn is a part of the business experience, and once you accept that, however grudgingly, you will also understand that nothing is forever. Look at loss of a client as a new opportunity to win the business back — and likely at a lower cost than you paid the first time.”

At Synergy Marketing, our experience has shown us that handing out free promo gifts can work wonders to mend fences. To place your order for the promo gift of your choice, call us at 1-877-748-9884 between 9am and 5pm EST or email us at info@gosynergygo.com! You can also sign up for our Insider E-Flyer Program HERE!

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18 Feb

3 Smart Ways To Retain Your Disgruntled Customers

Posted in customer satisfaction, Synergy Suggestions on 18.02.16 by John Meloche

Happy customers at the reception of a hotelReaders of the Synergy Marketing Blog know that we pour a lot of effort into making customers happy. It’s our job to not only make our own customers happy, but to help them make their customers happy as well. Working with business owners all across Canada is a great pleasure. We regularly get to hear about how our high-quality promotional products have helped them to grow their respective brands.

However, we also are made aware that things don’t always go perfectly. Of course, no one is perfect. And, therefore, mistakes are bound to be made. Naturally, some mistakes are bigger than others. And, as a result, there are times when customers are lost. What to do in such a situation? In today’s internet-savvy world, word can spread fast about a bad experience. It’s of vital importance that business owners find ways to remedy situations and save disgruntled customers.

Here are three smart ways to do just that:

1. Pinpoint the exact reason they’re upset. Miscommunication often tops the lists of why there is conflict between two parties. Before you attempt to resolve an issue, be sure to find out exactly what the issue is. The last thing you want to do is further anger a disgruntled customer by offering a solution that doesn’t speak to the exact problem. Do your part to find out the exact reason you made your customer angry.

On AmericanExpress.com, Ivana Taylor insists that you find out exactly why a customer left. “If they say price, then you know there is disconnect between what you offer and the value they perceive,” she informs, “No matter what the reason, ask at least two more probing questions to find out exactly what you could do to improve the offer. You may not get them back, but you will have information that you can use to save a customer who may be thinking of leaving.”

2. Be willing to earn your trust back little by little. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to win back a customer’s trust right away. As with all relationships, the healing process may take some time. Do your part to let your customer know that you haven’t forgotten him/her and make small, but meaningful gestures to let that person know you’re still interested in resolving the issue that caused the split.

On Entrepreneur.com, Dave Mattson warns that you shouldn’t always set your sights on winning customers back immediately. “It may make more sense to incrementally edge your way back by taking on smaller pieces of business,” he says, “With this ‘foot in the door’ tactic, try to score a smaller ‘yes,’ a one-off project. Or you might even provide an entirely different product or service than you have offered before. Then set out to turn a smaller yes into a bigger one.”

3. Own up to your mistake. Sometimes, the best way to resolve a problem is to simply admit that you were the cause of it. Most of the time, excuses just come off as lame and provide further reason for a customer to part ways with a business. Don’t feel that you’re too big to make an apology. In many instances, the simple act of apologizing is all that will be necessary to retain a customer.

Taylor agrees that it’s important that you take responsibility. “If you made a mistake to lose them ask them what they would need to have to make them stay,” she advises, “That means that you fix what went wrong with no requirement for them to remain as a customer. They may still choose to leave, but if they have a great last experience with you, they may refer you to friends and family who may be a better fit as a customer.”

Be sure to check back for tomorrow’s blog as we continue to list ways to win back your angry customers. And please don’t hesitate call Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884 between 9am and 5pm EST or email us at info@gosynergygo.com to ask about our fantastic promo gifts. You can also sign up for our Insider E-Flyer Program HERE!

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