It’s one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. But dealing with unhappy customers is something we all have to come to terms with. Here are 5 ways to do it.

1. Make your customer service department more efficient.

There’s nothing worse than calling a customer services department and getting passed from one person to another while they try to find someone for you to talk to. This just makes unhappy customers even more unhappy, and will not benefit you or them.

That’s why you need to make your customer services department as swift and efficient as possible. If you’re having trouble creating an efficient system, you could outsource to a retail call center. They’ll offer you an expert service without any of the hassle.

2. Whatever you do, don’t blame the customer.

It’s been said a thousand times, but it’s worth repeating. The customer is always right – even when they’re not! Even if you think that they’re wrong to be complaining, it’s important not to blame them. It’s your responsibility to see to their problem.

This can be difficult if you’re not used to dealing with customers and you’re not a very patient person. That’s why it’s so important to have an understanding and compassionate customer services team who know what it takes to sort out problems.

3. Find out what the customer really wants.

This might sound like an obvious piece of advice, but the first thing you need to do is find out exactly what the customer wants from you. It might not be immediately clear, so cut through all the other things they’re saying and get to the root of what they’re asking for.

It might be that they simply want an apology from your company. Or they might want a replacement for the item they bought. Or maybe they want a full refund. You can’t begin to deal with their problem unless you know what they want from you.

4. Make them feel like they’re your focus.

A big part of the customer service experience is making the customer feel like they’re valued and that their problem is of real concern to you. Your customers should never feel like they’re being a nuisance to you. If they’re made to feel that way, they won’t come back.

To make sure they feel like they’re your focus, take a polite approach and speak enthusiastically about sorting out the problem. It’s not too hard to do. All it takes is a polite manner and a bit of common sense, and you won’t have any problems.

5. Don’t let the process finish until they’re satisfied.

When you’re talking to a disgruntled customer, the key is to sort the problem out swiftly, so they don’t get fed up and leave. If they leave without the issue being resolved, the chances are they’ll never use your business again. If you want to retain these customers, you have to make sure they’re satisfied right up until they put down the phone.

Every business that has customers has unhappy customers at times. It’s how you deal with them that really matters. Your customers are the reason you are in business. Treat them with the respect they deserve and you will have a client for as long as you stay in business.

Customer satisfaction should be your prime focus as a business. Don’t waste resources acquiring customers who end up on your competitors doors when you could have gone the extra mile to make them really happy. No business wants their customers to be unhappy. Not to mention that it’s bad for business.

In a nutshell:

1. Remain calm. When a customer starts yelling or being otherwise rude, there is nothing to be gained by responding in a similar manner.

2. Don’t take it personally.

3. Use your best listening skills.

4. Actively sympathise.

5. Apologize gracefully and ask what he or she wants.

6. Be genuinely interested in finding a solution.