Word of mouth can be the greatest, or worst, marketing for your business. More customers who have had a negative experience with your company will tell more of their friends and family than someone who had had a good experience. This is just what happens. This is why it is so very important to focus on ensuring your customers, every single one of them, have a good experience with your business and employees.
Many people who have had negative experiences will not only tell their friends and family, but they’ll also post something nasty about your company and their experience for the world to see, as goes the ability to get information to people all over the world through the internet. There are good ways and not-so-good ways to respond to these negative comments. Here are a few things to remember when responding to negative comments, experiences, and accusations.
Don’t be emotional. Someone in your company (maybe even you) will have the responsibility to reply to these negative customer experiences. Don’t become defensive of your position or the company. Keep emotion out of the situation. The customer has enough emotion vested for both of you. Becoming emotional about the situation will only make matters worse and will paint a bad picture of your company for other customers.
Remain professional. Don’t use vulgarities and don’t accuse the customer. Keep your response extremely professional and polite. This will show other customers that you aren’t a big, mean company that doesn’t know how to handle itself.
Don’t include any personal customer information. This is a huge no-no!! Don’t reveal any of the customer information within your response.
Don’t re-live the situation. Re-writing the situation with the customer is not helpful, especially since it’ll be your word against his/her word.
Offer your help. Offer the customer additional assistance with the situation. Offer to call or email the customer to gain as much information as possible to help resolve the situation with the customer.
Keep it short and sweet. Keep your response to one response, unless there are follow-up questions that can be answered in a polite manner to develop a conversation with the customer. Don’t drag the situation on and on as this will make your company look bad.
The best bet is to simply acknowledge and apologize to the customer for their bad experience with your company and promise to call the customer to help resolve the issue. Apologize, even if you don’t believe your company was in the wrong, and always follow up on your promise to call.