How to Handle an Unhappy Online Customer
Online merchants know how difficult it is to deal with an unhappy customer. Whether it’s because of a damaged package or an incorrect product shipment, dissatisfied buyers can be hard to satisfy. They can be very demanding as well. So how does a seller deal with an unhappy online customer?
Here are some important things to remember in dealing with a dissatisfied online consumer:
Empathize with the online customer
It is essential to understand why the client is upset in the first place. Empathizing with the customer and understanding why he or she is disappointed is often the first crucial step in alleviating the frustration.
After understanding the situation that the customer is in, the seller should communicate his or her intentions to resolve the issue.
Apologize to the online customer
Obviously, an unhappy online customer would demand an apology from the seller. An apology is arguably the most effective tool in dealing with an upset customer. The Carey School of Business even found in a study that saying sorry is even more effective than a seller offering credit.
But how does an online seller say sorry? In a nutshell, the apology should be specific. It should identify the reason why the customer is upset. It should also be followed by action, meaning the letter of apology should specify how the seller aims to resolve the issue.
Don’t offer a refund to the online customer
It’s common for online merchants to offer a refund to the disgruntled consumer. Yet experts agree that it is not the best business solution. Not only does it fail at making the customer happy because the issue is no resolved; it can also be costly.
Find a mutually agreeable solution with the online customer
Of course, online merchants should find a solution that’s agreeable to both parties. Ensure that the damaged good is replaced. Or send the correct item to the buyer the soonest.
Finally, online retailers should never forget to thank the customer. This increases the likelihood that the customer will go back and buy, no matter how bad the initial purchase turned out.