It has taken years of hard work and commitment to bring your business to such great heights. The list of your clients has grown which means that you are making some good money. Everything about the business seems okay. Out of nowhere, tragedy strikes. A cordial relationship that you had with a client turns sour. One of your employees mistreated a customer, or a client decides that your services don’t meet the standards, among many other reasons.
Regardless of the reasons, an angry client can bring your business down to its knees. You need to take appropriate actions before it is too late. Here are the most effective ways of repairing customer relationships that have gone sour.
1. Acknowledge that something went wrong
First, you need to accept that something went wrong somewhere and that’s why your relationship is not as good as it used to be. After all, you can’t begin solving a problem that you can’t recognize. Try to dig deeper into the cause of the issue as this will give you a proper sense of direction on the steps that you can take. This will also help you prevent future fallouts with other customers.
2. Apologize for the mishap
When having a crisis with a customer, the chances are that you will end up the loser. This will happen regardless of whether it was your fault or carelessness by the client. Regardless of whose fault it is, you need to lower your ego and apologize for what happened. Although this may look simple, it can have a far-fetching impact in mending a sour relationship with your client. Even though you may be a hot-tempered person, try to separate business issues with your personality. Asking for forgiveness can prevent a customer from spreading a bad word about the business. In fact, your humility can win the affected client back.
3. Don’t talk down to your clients
It is true that you may be an expert in your business line. However, that does not elevate you to some superficial positions. You still need the customers to survive. Even if the aggrieved client does not seem to be knowledgeable about the issue, don't try to put them down. Instead, come to their level and talk in a way that they understand. Don’t dominate the conversation with complex terminologies that can only be understood by people in your field as this can be viewed as an utter display of arrogance and intimidation. You may even end up severing an already worse relationship.
4. Know that You Can Make Mistakes
If the problem was on your side, you need to accept that you were wrong. Being stubborn will only infuriate clients and make them angrier. Admitting the mistake and expressing your willingness to fix it can earn you respect from the affected client.
5. Fix the problem
If you are in the business of providing services, a sour relationship could be as a result of your failure to fix a problem properly and in good time. There’s a high chance that the client may still be struggling with the issue even after lodging several complaints. The wisest thing to do here is to resolve the issue as this will restore some hope in the client. This can also prevent the problem from escalating into a full-blown crisis.
6. Be Available and Reachable
One issue that can drive your customers overboard and make them mad at you is your unavailability. This issue is common if you are running a one-man business. You need to be always available on various platforms where clients having various issues can contact you. Be reachable via your email address and even social media platforms. Since emails are a bit slower, provide business phone numbers that clients will be using to contact you for emergency issues.
7. Be Responsive
It would be of no meaning to provide the means through which your customers can reach you if you are not responding to the issues that they raise. Take your time to analyze the issue at hand and respond accordingly. The longer you take to answer them, the angrier they get. If it is an issue that takes time to be fully resolved, be honest and inform the client about the progress that you are making.
Do not let a nasty encounter with a client blow out of proportion. Apply these tips accordingly and see how you can solve the issue. However, there are instances where the situation cannot be salvaged. If you find yourself entangled in such circumstances, you have no other option but to count your losses and look for ways of preventing their occurrence in the future.