From sending the wrong product to poor customer service to delivering a faulty product, mistakes happen. While businesses don’t like making them, mistakes are bound to happen in the ongoing operations of your business. Thanks to the internet, social media, and online review websites, customers have much more power telling others about their poor experience than they did decades ago. According to Oracle, 89 percent of customers will move to a competitor after a poor customer experience. How you react to making a mistake goes a long way in maintaining customer loyalty and retention.
Here are seven ways to rebuild customer loyalty after a mistake.
1. Be Transparent
Excuses make your business look like it doesn’t care about customer satisfaction. Transparency is essential. Being honest and acknowledging the mistake is the first step in rebuilding customer loyalty. This extends to how customer service agents handle the complaint when it is made. Instead of trying to blame another department, they should acknowledge, apologize, confirm the problem, and offer a solution.
2. Be Positive
Reacting with a negative attitude is detrimental to your reputation. Customer service agents and managers should maintain a positive attitude during the follow-up process with a customer. The more positive you are about the situation, they more positive and accepting the customer will be with your solution.
3. Empower the Customer
It’s no surprise that customers already have a lot of power today. After a mistake is made, empower them with an opportunity to suggest how you can fix the mistake. By asking customers what they would like to see occur, you show that you are willing to exceed expectations and put them as a priority.
4. Communicate Effectively
There is nothing worse than reporting a problem or dissatisfaction with a company, only to have them say they will take care of it and then wait days for the results. The same is true for responding to reviews. Fifty-seven percent of customers would stop using a brand if they had a negative review go unaddressed. It is crucial that you effectively communicate, respond to reviews, and provide updates to the customer, so they don’t think you brushed them aside as unimportant.
5. Make Fixing it a Priority
Don’t wait to correct the problem after a mistake is uncovered. Move these occurrences to the top of your daily priority list so the customer sees you are quick to make it right. They will feel important, and a proactive response can turn a negative experience into a positive one.
6. Create New Procedures
Review internal procedures to identify where there is room for improvements or changes. By updating policies and procedures continuously, businesses can minimize the chance of the same mistake occurring again.
7. Update Customers
Depending on the severity of the mistake, an update to existing and potential customers may be necessary. By publicly acknowledging the mistake and then reviewing steps taken to ensure the same mistake doesn’t occur again, your business shows it is willing to take proper precautions to assure customer satisfaction.
Mistakes are a part of doing business, but they don’t have to define your business reputation. Take these steps when mistakes occur to maintain a positive relationship and secure trust with customers.