How to Apologize to Customers and Have Them Love You More
It’s never a good thing when customers have a bad experience with your product or service. But instead of getting defensive, you can apologize, make it right, AND make them love you more in the process. Here’s how:
Have all customers on an e-mail list: You don’t have to be an Internet marketer to have an e-mail list. Every business needs to have at least a single master e-mail list that is clean and updated. Use an e-mail marketing program such as Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, aWeber or InfusionSoft. This will make your life and communication with your customers insanely easy.
Segment your customers into multiple lists. Break your customer lists out into groups or segments. Don’t make it overly complicated, but make sure that it’s effective. Your lists can be segmented by geography, product or service. or by lead source (online, store, etc).
When you learn about a customer service mishap, jump on it immediately. Have a plan in place where you immediately make it right for the customer experiencing the problem. Then, look for ways that you can PROMOTE the fix and how much better it is to everyone. Here’s an example.
I use a keyword software called Market Samurai. It seems that some customers had experienced complications when Google did an upgrade and then they experienced their personal technology snafu. Honestly, I didn’t experience the problem, nor did I know about it. I received an e-mail that explained what happened and what they did to fix it. Then they gave me an extra license that I can install on another computer. I can’t use the benefit. I didn’t experience the problem. But I am left with a very positive feeling about this company. If I do experience a problem with the company, I will certainly hang in there because I know a fix is coming.
Look at your mistake as an opportunity. Don’t look at a mishap as a mistake; look at it as a loyalty building sales and referral opportunity. Instead of thinking about how to defend the mistake, think about the ways that you can use the mistake to give your customers an unexpected surprise.
Have low-cost, high-value giveaways on deck. Market Samurai decided to give an additional free license to its customers. This didn’t require much additional support or cost on their part. But for those customers who had to wait in line to do keyword search – it’s a real value.
Be humble, be human. Mistakes happen and people will always forgive an honest mistake. But they will not forgive a defensive and empty-hearted corporate apology. Market Samurai sent a message to all customers. You might think this doesn’t make sense, but in reality, it gives customers who were affected a fix, and customers who weren’t affected an update in case they heard rumblings on social media channels. With one e-mail, Market Samurai answered questions, reported on the fix, and rewarded customers for staying with them.