How to Recover from a Bad Customer Experience & Build Customer Retention

How To Recover from a Bad Customer Experience & Build Customer Retention

By David Grover

August 1, 2016 - You put lots of time and effort into ensuring your customers' happiness. Even so, there can always be mistakes. The smallest oversight can leave your customer with a bad experience and broken trust in your company. When this happens, it’s important to take the right steps toward winning them back again. Failure to do so could mean losing a valued customer and potentially many others who hear about the bad experience.

Here are some tips for regaining customer trust, no matter how bad their experience.

React Quickly. The longer your customer waits for a resolution, the more likely they are to be upset when you finally do get to them. Hesitation and unresponsiveness can cost you their trust and business (potentially forever).

Furthermore, consider the fact that the time they are left waiting is time they may spend complaining to others about the issue (thus putting others off the idea of using your brand). This can be very damaging when the customer is in a position of influence.

It is important to move on a solution quickly. Have a strategy in mind to help all kinds of customers in all situations with urgency.

Resolve Accordingly. The type of customer you are dealing with may impact how you act. A newer customer may not be familiar with your brand and thus may not have had the opportunity to build trust. This means you are not likely to win them over easily. Consider offering a refund. It restores trust by letting them know that there is no risk on their part. They do not have to pay for your service or product if they are not completely satisfied.

Established customers may be more forgiving. They have already built up trust with you in the past due to previous good service. They may require less compensation, and you may be able to offer them a future reward. For example, consider adding a freebie next time they order from you, or extending their contract by a month for free.

Analyze Clearly. Once the situation has been resolved for the customer, there is still more work to be done on your side. Analyze the issue and determine what happened, why, and who was responsible. Look for “coaching moments” with your associates. If you find that there is a flaw in your process, you can correct it by rewriting the procedure. Implement back-up plans to minimize the potential for the issue happening again.

Remember that even repeat customers will not tolerate mistakes for too long. They will reach a breaking point and take their business elsewhere. Try not to become a repeat offender. If an issue becomes a trend, a serious overhaul or rethink may be required.

Gaining new customers is important, but so is looking after the customers you already keep.

About the Guest Author

David Grover is a Communications Manager at Timeo, a useful tool for businesses in the UK. He’s also a freelance career coach who’s always eager to share his experience. In his free time, he enjoys traveling.