We have all been there. The customer is not happy. They want your product or service discounted or even free. So when is saying you are really sorry appropriate? Is the customer as the saying goes, “Always right?” We do not like bad feelings, bad press, or with today’s social media, a blast saying don’t do business with so and so because they shafted me. Many times we do owe an apology because we did in fact screw up. We missed the boat. An employee did something wrong, the product was defective, the service was performed wrong, we did not smile right, it could be a number of things. In this competitive world, we have to sometimes save face and take the loss and say we are sorry. How can I make this up to you?
Then you have the typical customer out there who is always looking for a freebie, a law suit, or anything to capitalize off you. They make their living at it and you just got picked today. In my research and past experience in business, here are some simple tips for you to kick around.
1. Is the customer’s demands reasonable? If you find the complaint small or within your company’s policy then by all means fix it. If not, telling them you are sorry is not needed. You did the service or sold the product to the best of your and the companies’ ability.
2. Always take time to understand the complaint and tell the customer you will look into it if it does not involve you directly. Maybe the complaint is an afterthought or does not even involve you or your business directly. Third parties sometimes cause the complaint. Just caring sometimes will fix the complaint.
3. If you get someone like I mentioned above, Mr. or Miss ”I want this for free by golly I will sue you to get it!” then you need to also be firm and contact your legal team and many times, a simple letter from them to your irate customer will calm the waters fast. It may cost you some money but your reputation and your brand is worth the damage control with these type of people. Remember, social media is world-wide and one bad rap can go viral in a hurry. You need to ask yourself. “How important is my reputation and my business?” A few hundred bucks here is well spent.