As an employee or a business owner you have standards to adhere to and your customers have expectations of a certain level of quality. When those expectations are not met for whatever reason, you have to do something.
The incident can either be a problem or an opportunity, depending on how you respond to it.
For one of my clients this morning we spoke about how to deal with these situations. How to shift the focus from taking it personally and feeling despondent – to using it as an opportunity to learn something and to build a stronger connection with your customers.
The likelihood is, they will tell people about their experience – it’s your job to decide what they tell people. If you deal with it badly you will not only lose one customer, but all of the other people they come into contact with as well.
This is an opportunity to make the person feel better than they expected to in the first place. So despite having encountered a problem, you still create a positive outcome to rebuild the trust you have lost.
How to respond
1. Apologise, it matters a lot
The first and obvious thing to do is to show genuine compassion and show you care about what happened. Say you are really sorry and understand how it effected them and made them feel.
2. Take responsibility, but it’s not personal
Explain the possible reason for it happening but still take full responsibility. This will help to rebuild your credibility so they you know you have higher standards. It also gives them an opportunity to forgive your mistake.
3. Reward your customer, it’s an opportunity
Whilst a lot of people will hide their dissatisfaction and not do business with you again, the ones that do speak up are giving you valuable information and an opportunity to learn. Reimburse them in way that they are happy with and compensate people generously to make the situation better.
4. Learn, it’s valuable feedback
Whatever the reason behind causing the problem, you must now do your best to preventing it happening again. What measures can you put in place? What changes do you need to make?
I hope these ideas help you deal with challenges and conflict in your business or personal lives.