Oops, You Did It Again: How To Make Up for Inevitable Customer Mishaps

Let’s face it: sh*t happens. We’re all human, which means we’re not perfect. Mistakes aren’t strangers to us. And sometimes, these faults affect our clients. 

Client-facing roles are super stressful. Today, with so many different methods to contact our customers, it’s become arguably simpler to send the wrong message. Between Apple autocorrect and Gmail finishing our sentences for us, it’s easy to encounter minute mishaps in day-to-day client communications. 

But what about those missteps that are more massive and less quick to correct? You know, the ones where you fear completely losing the customer, or worse, your job. 

When you encounter big errors that directly impact your client and customer relationships, you too can make a Britney Spears-level comeback.

Here’s how. 

Your Company Defines Your Customers’ Experiences 

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that your entire business determines your customers’ and clients’ experiences. Regardless of the label, client services isn’t solely limited to one department. In the words of Tony Hsieh, Zappos’ CEO, your whole company at large should be responsible for customer service

So, what does that mean? It denotes that if you’re responsible for a large oversight, it’s reflected on both you and your organization itself. 

Yes, that may seem a bit terrifying. However, it also indicates that you’re not in this alone.

If you make a major client miscalculation, don’t be afraid to tell your boss so you can devise a solid strategy for amending it. Depending on how large the account is, or if your company is small in size, it could even be beneficial to rope in your CEO to establish an action plan. 

Great businesses that are forward-thinking look at the services that they provide for their current clients not as costs, but as sales opportunities. Service is one method for how companies differentiate themselves from their competitors and earn their customers’ business and loyalty. It’s important to correct any client-related mistakes in order to repair these relationships, and ensure that you’ve left the door open for any future upsell openings. 

People tend to remember positive memories more than negative moments. With 7 out of 10 U.S. consumers claiming they’ve spent more money to do business with organizations that provide great service, snafus that you may make can be overshadowed by the gestures that you perform to remedy them. 

According to Connect Leader, 73% of B2B buyers state that they’d like their customer experience to resemble that of a B2C company. So if you’re in the B2B space, incorporating B2C customer support tactics, such as digital engagement channels and mobile support, could help you stand out to your clients, which will ultimately deliver long-term ROI for your company.  

Mastering The Art of Customer Comebacks

Accidental mistakes inevitably occur while interacting with your clients. In fact, according to a report from Identity Guard, the average American worker screws up 118 times per year.

If you’re looking for your customers to remain loyal, regardless of any mishaps that arise, it’s necessary to invest in client experience innovations. Since 78% of consumers have abandoned transactions because of bad service interactions, ignoring or mishandling your customers’ requests is negatively impacting your organization and causing you to lose revenue. 

To prevent this from happening, it’s important to master the art of customer comebacks. Three tenants for making amends with a client or customer include the following: 

1.) Act Fast: Answer Your Customers Quickly!

Amongst B2B decision-makers, lack of speed in interactions with their vendors and suppliers is their top pain point, mentioned twice as often as price. And according to research conducted by McKinsey & Company, 75% of customers demand instant service within five minutes of online contact. To rectify any dilemmas that emerge, responding as swiftly as possible will assure your clients’ faith in you and your business. 

2.) Identify the Problem by Listening, Empathizing, and Responding

Sometimes, clients are just looking for a little empathy. HBR found that when customers use a derogatory tone in their Tweets to a brand’s customer service team, the best approach to quell their anger is to immediately respond to these negative comments versus ignoring them.

3.) Offer a Genuine Apology and Make It Right

A study organized by The Carey School of Business found that only 37% of upset customers were satisfied when offered something in return for the issue. However, if the organization said “sorry” on top of the credit, satisfaction increased to 74%. So if you plan to provide your client with a gesture, offer, or discount, ensure that the offering includes a note that provides an apology. 

How To Craft a Compelling Apology

For a brief list of what to incorporate in your client or customer acknowledgments, the most compelling apologies include six components:

  • An expression of regret
  • An explanation for what went wrong
  • Acknowledged responsibility for the issue
  • A declaration of repentance
  • An offer to repair the problem
  • A request for forgiveness

Implementing these six elements in your client apologies will help you to diffuse problems and retain your customer relationships. 

Reputability Leads to Retention

By correcting your customer mistakes efficiently and effectively, not only will you preserve your personal reputation, but you’ll also uphold your company’s image in your clients’ eyes.

When rectifying relationships, people may not recall what you say, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. Acknowledging problems and offering sound solutions will help you maintain positive relationships with your customers, and will keep them feeling comfortable while growing their business with your organization. 

Thnks can help you solve customer mistakes and maintain your client relationships. Within seconds, you can search for the perfect gesture, personalize a note, and send it off via SMS or email. Interested in learning more? Sign up for a demo, or click here to learn more about using gratitude and customer engagement!