Can Your Business Survive a Negative Client Experience & Review? 8 Steps to Turn Your Client Experience Around!
It happens to everyone, regardless of industry, business size or professional level. Sometimes your blunders are minimal and somewhat out of your control: your intern misspelled a caption on their social media account; you discussed a troublesome client with another client, using less than kind words and they spread the word. Some of these errors are innocent and some just reek of lack of good judgement. While we can’t adjust or teach good judgement (there is a learning curve with this one) we can share 8 success strategies to recover from your blunder and maintain your client on the best terms.
Most business owners work diligently to offer their clients a top notch experience. Your reputation for excellence helps you build new business through referrals and reviews. Everyone has a bad day and once in a while your mistake makes your client angry enough to write a bad review and walk out the door, determined never to do business with you again.
There are all kinds of client missteps you & your business encounter weekly and more often than not, you are able to side step these mistakes without anyone even noticing. Look, you and your business aren’t perfect, no one is! But the real question is not “When will you make a client blunder?” but “How can you recover from a major mistake?” and retain your customer and have them forgive and forget your error, so you can continue your mutually beneficial relationship.
We’ve all made our share of errors and some clients we have won back and some we have lost. But here are the tried and true 8 BEST WAYS to recover from a client blunder.
1. Acknowledge your mistake early
Bring your error forward first, before the accidental discovery by your client and own up to it. This confession makes you and your business human and relateable. Taking responsibility for the problem & explaining in detail the fix to the mistake is key to recovering your relationship.
Make a straight forward & authentic apology. This is an important step to recovering your relationship with your client. Your apology doesn’t need to be elaborate, but it is necessary. It may require a written apology depending on the level of the issue. Plan your confession carefully.
3. Develop a strategy to prevent future errors.
Put together your thoughts of how the problem occurred in the first place, how you are going to prevent the errors occurred moving forward and how you can remedy and satisfy your customer immediately. Discuss your plan concisely with your client to reassure them you have fixed the glitch and it won’t happen again.
4. Let the client express their dissatisfaction.
Your client needs to vent, and you need to listen carefully. Is your client expressing anger about this misstep or are there are issues bubbling to the surface due to this error?
5. Offer your solution to solve the problem.
Explain in detail the process to remedy the mistake and do it immediately. It is always best if you can say “Problem solved with these great results” to ensure a quick recovery with your client.
6. Offer additional services FREE
Give your client an apology by way of a free service to show them how sincere you are. This also gives you the benefit of highlighting an additional service they may not currently be using.
7. Follow up
Keep the conversation going. Your business can gain valuable insights as you work through the customers complaint. How you utilize the information you have gained from your customers perception can actually be good news for your business.
8. You have taken all the steps necessary to acknowledge the error, apologize, find and implement a solution.
Your recovery is reliant on the client’s perception of the result. Continue your conversation once the error has been resolved. Are they satisfied with the resolution? Your communication let’s them know your stand behind your product/service 100%.