Now you’ve done it. You really messed up this time, and the customer is mad. Or maybe it wasn’t even your fault, but something did not turn out the way it should have. Maybe the customer isn’t angry, but you know that you did not deliver the results you should have.
In each of these cases, you would be wise to do something to show the customer that you care about providing top-notch service and quality. One way to do that is to provide something extra or go out of your way to do something special.
The best way to make it up to the customer when things go wrong will depend on what your business does and the exact circumstances with the customer. There is not one right way to fix things. However, here are some ideas of ways you can make it up to the customer when they do not get your best.
Act fast. The customer is unhappy now. They do not want to wait six months for a resolution. Even if you can not fix the problem immediately, let them know that you are doing something to take care of it as quickly as possible.
Just ask. Ask the customer what they want. Some may ask for unreasonable accommodation, but most will not. You may be surprised how simple it will be to meet their expectations.
Give them something extra. Throw in an extra bonus item without charge. It could be some samples of other products, or an accessory to go with something they purchased. Make it something that complements what they paid for so that it is useful to them.
Make it personal. Take the customer out of the usual flow and let them know that you are personally seeing to it that their situation is resolved to their satisfaction. Knowing that they are getting extra attention makes the customer feel special.
Comp them. Restaurants often do this. If there is a problem with the meal, they comp some or all of the cost. At least the customer didn’t have to pay for the bad experience, and your willingness to comp them may encourage them to return.
Provide a future freebie. Another way to encourage them to return is to provide a certificate for a free product or service on their next visit.
Extend the term. Give them more time on their membership, warranty or other time-limited program.
Follow-up. Call the customer after the problem has been fixed to see that everything was properly handled.
Every business makes mistakes and has things go wrong. The measure of a quality business is how they handle those problems. In fact, customers who have a bad experience with your business can become your most loyal customers, when they see how much you care about making things right.
How have you fixed things when your company messed up? Let me know what you did and how it worked out by commenting below.