The truth is, every businessman and woman is ‘in it’ to make money. You are in a business today simply because your customers or clients have not ceased coming. In other words, your customers are the ones paying your bills.
But the rate at which most startup entrepreneurs lose their customers due to ill-treatment and poor customer relations is alarming and probably accounts for why some businesses die off out of after a bright start due to a lack of patronage. The issue of poor patronage though, often arises from dissatisfied customers. In seeking for ways to attract, keep and win over dissatisfied clients, follow these practical tips:
1. Simply Apologize
When you are in business you cannot escape having dissatisfied customers once in a while. And when they are aggrieved, please be ready to what I call the Three Golden Words: “I am sorry” as many times as possible. Each time you notice your client is not pleased with any of your services just simply say ‘I am sorry’. These words are strong enough to calm and fraying nerves. Remember, it’s about your business. It may not even your fault or you are yet to critically assess the situation to reach conclusions. While that is unclear, one is clear –your customer is dissatisfied and you need to apologize to calm his or her nerves. Be wise enough to do everything possible to keep your client coming back.
2. Rectify the mistake where possible
For as long as the two entities involved in a business relationship are human being, mistakes are inevitable and will often be recurrent. But mind you, they should be minimal. In other words if you have made a mistake in your deliverable to your clients, it would do you and your business a world of good to rectify the mistake where possible.
3. Empathize with your client
If you must retain your cherished customers, then, don’t ever assume they will understand with you when you miss it along the way. Show empathy to let the client know that the severity of their grievance is quite appreciated. Identify with their pains especially of their requests were made to meet a deadline and the delivery was too close to call or if it didn’t arrive on schedule. Sometimes, empathy is required even if the issues that have unsettled your clients are unrelated with your dealings with him or her.
4. Offer Compensation or Future Discount
One secret that will keep you going on in business and earned you loads of referrals is the fact that I offer compensation or give discount as a way of appeasing dissatisfied clients. It’s actually a juicy carrot you dangle before your esteemed clients and it has never failed. I will recommend this to any entrepreneur who wants to always be in the good books of his or her clients.
5. Always follow up to ensure clients are fully satisfied
You can get customer feedback on services or products via a carefully drawn questionnaire, SMS or calls. For these steps you will find out whether you have met their expectations or not. As long you are in business you will continue to deal with customers. And as long as you deal with humans you will regularly meet dissatisfied ones. Rather than lose them to your competition, apply the above steps to appeasing them and ensure that you retain their services and continue to grow your business.
by Peter Ivienagbor