Keeping Loyal Customers On Your Side When You’ve Messed Up
No-one is perfect, so why would we expect companies to be any different? Try as we might, we’re unable to prevent those errors from happening. If it’s kept in-house, then great, we can learn and move on, with little damage taking place. But if it involves one of our customers, then it’s a little different. Then, it’s firstly about damage control, and then about making sure our customers stay on our side. If you have messed up, then take the steps we’ve outlined below to give yourself the best chance of retaining a valued customer.
Rectify the Issue
Before you begin thinking of ways to make it up to your customer, make sure you’re rectifying the issue! If you’ve sent the wrong order, or failed to reply to a question, or anything else, then deal with the initial issue at hand before doing anything else. They’ll be a time in the future to think about the best way to win back your customer’s support, but that shouldn’t be your first concern. If it means paying extra for shipping out of your own pocket to ensure something gets there on time, then so be it.
Say You’re Sorry
Some companies go to great lengths to try to win the trust of the clients back, yet they often forget the first and most simple action; saying they’re sorry! It’s like saying please or thank you; they’re small acts, but ones that are greatly appreciated – and also, if you don’t say them, then people tend to pick up on it. Of course, just saying “sorry” won’t be any good – you have to mean it. If you don’t, then it might be time to think about why you’re in the business game in the first place.
Send Free Swag
Once you’ve solved the issue and said you’re sorry, the customer might think that the problem is over and done with, but you shouldn’t. You’ve done the bare minimum; now’s the time to show that you’re willing to go above and beyond! One of the best ways to do this is to send some freebies or other gifts. All you’ll need is a cool gift, some blank labels and packaging, and their address. They’ll receive the goods in the post, and hey presto, they’ll be back on your side. Alternatively, you can also consider sending an online discount code to be used for a future purchase.
Review Your Procedures
What will be the legacy of this mistake? Hopefully, there’ll be something there that’ll help you to prevent making the mistake in the future. The best way to do this is to review your operations, including how this mistake happened in the first place, and then take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Don’t Go Overboard
If you’re a caring business owner, then you’ll likely feel pretty terrible that this has happened. But there’s no need to go overboard with the guilt. Chalk it up as a learning experience and move on – you’ll get it right next time!