No matter what type of business you are in, restaurant, medical, salon, gym, etc., unfortunately you are bound to have a few angry customers every now and then. Regardless of how professional and friendly your staff is, or how great your facility is kept up, problems will occur. It is important to have your staff trained to handle these customers in the most professional manner possible. In today’s world an angry customer can do a lot of damage to a business’s hard earned reputation by going online and leaving negative reviews.
When a customer is upset you have to remember it’s not personal. Allow the customer to vent their frustration while you listen carefully. You can’t fix an issue if you don’t know exactly what the problem is. Once the customer has finished voicing their complaint and you know why the customer is upset, offer a sincere apology. Regardless of whether you are in agreement with them or not, you are letting them know that you care and want to work at finding a happy medium. If you don’t have an answer for them, let the customer know that you are working to fix the problem. This helps bond the relationship with the unhappy customer and lets them know that their business is important to you.
If you were truly in the wrong, it is often a good idea to offer the customer something along with your apology. Studies have shown that when a business makes a mistake, but quickly reacts to it by sincerely apologizing and offering the customer something it can have an enormously positive effect. For example if your wait staff brings out the wrong order, then as a manager you should consider offering the angry customer a free dessert. This will be sure to calm them down, and save the business’s relationship with them. So take advantage of your mistakes and make an unhappy customer a customer for life!
In the end no matter whose fault it is, mistakes happen. Knowing that mistakes are inevitable and preparing your staff to respond to and fix mistakes can be a key factor in having a thriving business.