We’ve all experienced poor customer service at some point in our lives – whether you’ve dealt with a lazy server or an unsmiling face, the conclusion is usually the same: you won’t be spending your money at that business again.

Back in the day before social media, when a consumer experienced poor customer service they would have a stern word to the manager and if the issue was left unresolved, a simple word-of-mouth would warn the local community to avoid using their services.

Businesses these days need to be very careful; it doesn’t take long for negative feedback to spread across the World Wide Web and you may not even see the review until hundreds of other people have.

Social Media Impacts

In today’s digital age, customer service complaints no longer stay within confined circles, as the use of social media and service reviews now embolden the consumer to rant their grievances online. Research over the past few years has shown that 67% of consumers engage with businesses on social media, with 53% likely to talk about a bad experience.

Consumers will choose to air their grievances on social media rather than speak with a supervisor, so it’s vital to monitor your social media, because if you’re not reading your reviews, someone else is. On the other hand, when businesses quickly respond to complaints and creatively engage with the customer, that customer will end up spending 20 to 40% more with the company.

It’s an inevitability in business that you won’t keep everyone happy, however, the way you handle dissatisfied customers can change the outcome altogether. Bill Gates once said “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning,” meaning that you need to focus on understanding the problem, fixing it and making sure it doesn’t happen again. When rectifying the problem, take responsibility, provide a speedy solution and try to be creative about it.

If you’ve successfully resolved the issue, you can always ask the customer to leave a comment online about the resolution. This way, other customers will have peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, you will resolve it.

Turning Disgruntled Customers into Positive Advocates

Take every unhappy customer as an opportunity to prove your exceptional customer service prowess: if you fix your mistake quickly, efficiently and offer some kind of reimbursement, your disgruntled customer can turn into a strong supporter for your company.

Customer service training for your staff is a fast, easy and reliable way to improve overall customer service. By implementing a customer service plan and ensuring your staff has the right skills and attitude, you’ll increase customer retention and ultimately encourage more people to jump onboard and choose you.
When was the last time you experienced terrible customer service? Share your stories with us below!