Tips on how to turn a disgruntled client into an advocate

“Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business”

Zig Ziglar

This is very true!

Whilst no one wants unhappy customers, these occasional challenges do represent a genuine opportunity to turn the disgruntled client into an advocate. I’ve lost count of how many times I have turned around a dissatisfied customer into an advocate and a long term, happy, repeat client. Clients accept that sometimes things go wrong and can be forgiving – depending on what you do next!

It’s all down to how you approach the situation:

  • Show you care, be empathetic to the pain it has caused them
  • Thoroughly and objectively explore all the facts and data that lead to the situation
  • Where appropriate, authentically  accept accountability
  • Systematically work through the issues – do you need to change your own processes as a result?
  • Recommend a sustainable solution that mitigates future risk for them
  • Most importantly, stay in touch with them throughout the whole process and let them know what action you are taking, the progress you have made and when you expect to have a solution/conclusion

Remember, word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. People are likely to tell twice as many people about a bad experience, so what a great opportunity this represents if they also had a happy ending to the story!

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