Even the best customer service representatives can have a bad service experience with a customer. As hard as you try, it can’t always be avoided; so how you handle the aftermath of a bad experience is vital for moving forward.
Don’t pretend it didn’t happen.
The first thing you should do is address the bad experience. If you don’t, your customers will think you don’t really care, or that you’re trying to hide the truth to make your business look better. By addressing the complaint quickly, you show customers that you do care about their concerns, and will work with them to change their bad experiences into good ones.
Remember that word-of-mouth is powerful, good and bad. If you pretend a bad experience your customer had didn’t happen, not only will that customer tell others about the experience, but will tell others that you didn’t do anything about it either.
Fix the root problem for the bad experience.
It’s important to remember that criticism from customers, or “bad” customer service experience, may seem like it’s coming from someone who’s mad, but there may be a valid root issue that led to the comments. If you react to the customer’s emotion instead of finding out why they’re upset, nothing will change. You may help placate them, but the root problem still exists and can be the catalyst for future negative occurrences.
Repair the relationship with the customer.
Once you figure out the real issue and fix it, do what you can to show your customer you are committed to the business relationship you have. Think about what you can do as a business to reassure your customer about your dedication to them, and that you will continue to address any problems that arise in the future.
Customer service is not only about how you help your customers, but how you react to bad experiences, concerns and criticisms that arise. By addressing the problem quickly, taking steps to fix it, and doing what’s necessary to repair your business relationship with the customer, you can not only survive bad customer service, but turn a bad experience with a customer into a good one.