I write quite a bit about trust between you and your customers. Trust is essential in any relationship and if you want to keep loyal customers, you need to keep trust. What if you somehow lose their trust though? How are you going to gain their trust back?
What are you doing to handle the issue? What if one of your employees screws up big time with a customer? You need to take charge and solve the issue as soon as possible. While you’re thinking of a way to solve the issue, you need to let the customer know what you’re doing to handle it.
Apologize. Even if you personally didn’t do something wrong, and even if you think the customer is being unreasonable, suck it up and give the customer a sincere apologize.
Most of all, ask what the customer wants. An unhappy customer usually wants nothing more than the situation to be fixed. Ask them what they want. I recently went to one of my favorite Cajun restaurants and devoured a pound of crawfish. Well five minutes later, my stomach decided it didn’t want to keep the crawfish in (trying to keep this as least-disturbing as possible). I left and emailed the restaurant (I had already paid and couldn’t find anyone to speak with). The manager said he didn’t have any other complaints from that day, but asked if there was anything he could do for me. I didn’t want a refund though; I just didn’t want anyone else to get sick. Because of the way he handled the situation, and actually asked what I wanted, I’ll probably go back (but will stay away from the crawfish).
These three things will definitely help you start to gain a customer’s trust back. What steps do you take in these situations?