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Turn an Unhappy Customer into a Raving Fan in 5 Simple Steps

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For the modern SaaS companies, customer satisfaction is no more a good to have attribute. It has become a must. Companies have increasingly realized in the last decade that they cannot grow until their customers are happy. They are taking every measure to give excellent service to the customers. Any unhappy customer is a big area of worry for them. And that’s quite understandable. Those customers clearly reflect the inefficiencies in the business processes of the organization.

Your brand reputation depends solely on how your customers feel about you. As a customer success leader, it is your prime responsibility to keep a check on your client’s health score. A happy customer can drive more business to your brand. While an unhappy one can harm its reputation that can affect your customer acquisition results.

Before we dig into the topic of how to deal with unhappy customers, let us first understand the causes that turn them so.

Why do customers turn unhappy?

There are few most common mistakes companies make while interacting with their customers. Having a quick look upon them and reflecting on your own process is worth a shot to check if there are any gaps present in your organization.

Disharmony between different departments

When a customer is interacting with a brand, they want consistent support from all the personnels they are interacting with. When your sales team is on a different page with the customer than the onboarding team or the support team, it creates an irregularity in their experiences. That is sometimes frustrating and the customer feels under-valued to interact with your brand.

Company’s reactive service

Most of the companies who do not have a customer success team tend to resort to the reactive approach of service. They wait until the customer faces an issue and raises a complaint. This experience is a major setback on the journey of building a customer relationship. This can be mitigated if you continuously monitor the customer’s usage through a customer success software and provide them with proactive solutions.

Off the shelf solutions

Most of the time, companies, in order to save their operating cost, tend to offer off the shelf solutions for all their customers. Customers don’t usually prefer those ready made solutions. They would be more satisfied if you give them personalized solutions that fit right into their business context.

How to make them like your brand?

No matter which of the reasons make them dissatisfied with your brand, there are always ways to turn your unhappy customer into a loyal one. But you need to be strategic about the actions you take towards that objective. These five steps would help you achieve your goal.

1. Empathize

The core reason for the dissatisfaction of your customer is that their expectations did not meet. So, it is of paramount importance in dealing with unhappy customers that you bring out their expectations first. Only then would you be in a position to know what needs to be done to win them. Ideally, setting up and knowing the expectations should be a part of onboarding meetings but if not done during that time then now is the time. 

Listen to the story of how their expectations did not meet along with their challenges and pain points. This would make them feel that you really care for their poor experiences. Once you have shown your empathy it would prepare them to listen to what you have to offer going further.

2. Go over the top

Giving a great service should no doubt be a prime objective of every customer centric company. But for an unhappy customer you have to go a few miles further. You will have to give them a service to not only make up for their loss in the past but also to turn them loyal towards your brand. 

Sometimes it would come in the form of giving gifts as a token for compensation. These gifts can be in the form of extending their subscription period or anything which suits your context. You might lose some bucks on these gestures but they are far better than losing them permanently. Generally if you give them more than what they expect, they remember it for a longer time. 

3. Fix the issue right away

To know how do you handle unhappy customer, escalation is another strategy. A customer’s voice is the best feedback you can have on your service. If they had a genuinely bad experience with any of your staff or were not happy with your service arrangements, then you may find a corrective measure to fix it. 

This will have two benefits. First, by fixing the issue permanently, you would make sure that other customers don’t face the same situation. Second, you must inform your dissatisfied client that you are working on the issue raised by them. This will make them feel valued by you and that is a plus point. They would feel that their feedback is not just heard but acted upon by you. This will infuse a sentiment of trust in your brand and they would reconsider their decision of leaving you.

4. Highlight their case

When you have handled a disgruntled customer then you must seize the opportunity of highlighting this case to your larger audience. The customer would not only become happy with your handing of their problem but would also like to be a part of your larger community. What more, you can ask them to share their experience in their own words and send it across. 

Through this, others would also know how much you value your customers. This is a good way of spreading positive sentiments in your audience about your brand. Everybody understands that problems are bound to occur when a company is handling their customers. How you respond to them and your expertise in solving them defines your character in your industry.

5. Keep evolving

Every unhappy customer represents a great potential of bringing positive changes in your organization. One of the most famous unhappy customer quotes by Bill Gates says:

Hence, leaders with an evolving mindset should see their unhappy customers as a source of most honest feedback they can get. Then they must act upon them positively to bring necessary changes in their business process. Those customers represent new challenges which you never thought before.

As a customer oriented company, your prime objective is to solve customer’s problems and give them a delightful experience. So, improvement and evolution is the part of your growth journey. The more responsive you are towards these feedback, the more refined your service will get.

Final Thoughts

In a competitive business environment, the performance of your product is not just the only criteria for your success. Your customer relationship management is also a major part of your growth strategy. You have to make every customer a success story. Hence, listening to their challenges is the first step towards building a great organization. You can sit on your desk and guess about all the different scenarios your customers might be facing. But when the feedback comes right from the customer’s real time experience, then there is nothing that can replace it. 

Oftentimes, these feedback add more weightage in your strategic decisions about designing your business framework. Having an unhappy customer is acceptable if the numbers are less and manageable. After all, everybody understands that it is human to make some error in the learning process. Take this as a part of your learning curve and always be on your toes to give great customer experience. Only then you would be leading an ever-evolving organization towards a thriving future.

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