Depending on your industry, you may be in close contact with customers throughout the day.

While you do your best to make everyone happy, there will be times when this isn’t possible. Instead, you’ll find yourself face-to-face with an upset customer who is looking at you to make things right.

You hope this doesn’t happen often, but if it does here are five tips to follow:

1. Remain Calm

No matter how upset the customer becomes the best thing you can do is keep your cool.

There is never a good time to scream at a customer or talk down on him or her, as this can quickly escalate the situation.

If you remain calm there’s a greater chance of the other party following your lead – and that’s exactly what you want.

2. Listen, Listen, and Listen Some More

Your job is to listen to the customer, even if you don’t agree with what he or she is saying. Let them lay everything out on the table before you speak.

It can be difficult to sit back and listen, especially if you think the person is wrong, but it’s necessary if you’re going to defuse the situation and make things right.

3. Apologize

Yes, you need to apologize even if you’re 100 percent sure that you (or your company) did nothing wrong.

If you place the blame on the customer it’s only going to make things worse. Not to mention the fact that it increases the likelihood of the person spreading the word about his or her bad experience.

So, with this in mind, one of the first things you should do is offer a sincere apology.

4. Offer a Solution

The solution depends largely on the type of problem. For example, if a customer is unhappy with the food they receive at a restaurant, the manager could offer to replace the meal free of charge.

You may need to offer several solutions to ensure that the customer walks away in a better mood.

5. Thank Them for Their Time

This can be even more difficult than apologizing, but it’s a step you definitely want to take.

You can say something as simple as:

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. We’ll definitely use this as a learning experience to avoid a similar situation in the future.

It’s not always easy to calm down an upset customer, but these tips can definitely help.

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!


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