When running your own online business, or at least a business that deals with or acquires customers online regularly, are inevitably going to have some difficult customers. While this is an inevitable part of running any business, one unique downside to having a business with an online presence is that this irate customer has the ability to leave negative online reviews on various platforms such as Google Business and Yelp, and can do untold reputational damage to your business. Because of this, it is important learn how to deal with angry customers, as it an important part of running a modern company with an online presence. While every business will have its own methods for dealing with complaints, it is important to spell out some basic rules to deal with these customers so as to avoid reputational damage to your business.
Online customer service is particularly difficult. Because people are willing to act in ways they would never do in person, customers online can sometimes be rude and abrasive. Unfortunately, this has increasingly become a norm, so it is important that you show empathy and let them vent about their unhappy feelings. Try to put yourself in their shoes and acknowledge the difficulty of the situation they are facing. In doing so, you should be able to offer a more emphatic look at your business to them, as you can very much help to solve an issue such as a very late ship date or a defective product.
Don’t Place Blame
Even if the customer is obviously in the wrong, you don’t want to totally blame them for their actions. While the customer is not always right, you do want to make sure that they are least satisfied enough to walk away from your business without negative thoughts or feelings. Ultimately, an online business exists to solve problems, and putting the blame squarely on their shoulders is not going to help to solve the situation. Even if the situation that occurred is solely the fault of the customers, you shouldn’t directly say this, as they may get angry and leave negative reviews for you online and give you negative word of mouth. To avoid this, offer a solution and see what you can do to help solve their issues, even if they are self-created.
Go Above and Beyond
The last thing that you want to do is have your customer come away from transacting with your business feeling negative or angry about the transaction. In order to remedy this, you should put in extra effort where it counts to replace their negative perception of your business with a positive one. Things like discounts on future orders or other small gestures can go a long way in convincing an irate customer to be more satisfied with their relationship with your business.
A great way to do this is through the use of a CRM. But what is a CRM? A CRM, or customer relationship management software, is a way to store customer data so that you can log all of their interactions with your business. By doing this, you can create a detailed history of every action they have taken, from how often they have visited your website to what product and service pages they have viewed on your website, to detailed notes and recording of their interactions with your customer service team. To solve their issues, you can go over these and solve any issues that they may have by pointing to their specific pinpoints, and making sure to try to remedy these in the future.