Professional Jeweler Archive: Turn Angry Customers into Lifetime Clients

May 2002

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Turn Angry Customers into Lifetime Clients

Listen, apologize, come up with a solution


Angry, irate clients – every business has them. In today’s uncertain economy, where every dollar counts, how you handle angry customers can make the difference between stagnant sales and a thriving organization. Some tips:

1. Generously Listen to Clients’ Concerns
When upset customers call, they need to vent so don’t interrupt. Remember they are upset with the situation, not you.

2. Offer a Genuine Apology
Thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention and apologize. Even if you’re not directly at fault, give the person the benefit of the doubt and apologize.

3. Present a Game Plan
A successful game plan to correct the situation should exceed the customer’s expectations. If you’re not sure what to propose, simply ask “What can we do to make it better?” The customer usually wants much less than you think.

4. Present an Opportunity for Future Contact
Ask whether there’s anything else the customer needs. Restate your name, offer your direct line and/or e-mail and encourage the person to call you the next time he or she needs anything.

Reach Richard Buckingham, author of Kiplinger’s Customer Once, Client Forever, at (301) 913-0222 or rdb@goalstar.com.

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications