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Take 5: How to Turn an Angry Client into a Learning Experience

by Amy Devan,

Complaints are never fun, and angry clients can really push your buttons. However, there are things you can do to turn the experience into a learning opportunity and ultimately, get the customer back in your corner. Amy Devan, Designer and Creative Director of NAVEDA Couture, a luxury womenswear brand based in Philadelphia, offers some tips on how to resolve these situations.

1) Communication. Make sure your communication is clear. If the client is upset, it’s our responsibility as business owners to stay calm and focused on the client. A calm delivery is an essential key in helping you get to the core of the problem.

2) Listen. Make sure you’re actively listening to what their needs and expectations are. Listen for key words to decipher what the issue is, and at the same time, make sure you’re communicating what your needs are as a business owner.

3) Take it offline. Some customers may use websites or social media outlets to vent their frustrations. Most times it’s better to take the problem offline because words and emotions can be misconstrued when they’re read from the computer screen. If they’re having a problem on your site, there should be direct contact info to reach a customer service representative. It’s also important to get the client’s direct contact information as well, so you can reach out to them.

4) Urgency. Having a sense of urgency is key. Make the customer’s problem your own problem and show the customer you are on their side. Every customer is important, and they want to know and feel that they are a priority.

5) Follow Up. It’s all in the follow up. This is going to be the client’s lasting impression rather than solving the problem. Investing time in a follow up phone call or email will show that you care, post problem, about the experience they had.

Many times, if a customer has a negative experience but you’re able to turn it around, it will be as if nothing happened at all. People pay attention to these things, and it might help spread more positivity about your brand or business.

Published (and copyrighted) in Philly Biz, Volume 1, Issue 4 (March, 2016).
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