How do you protect and grow an account when the customer is dissatisfied for good reason? How do you turn customer dissatisfaction around when you’re not delivering?
A variety of good reasons can by behind valid dissatisfaction.
It can happen at the extremes of a product lifetime. Too new and it might not have enough or the right features. Minimum viable might not be viable enough for this customer. Near end of life, and a product can be buggy or overwhelming to use.
Sometimes the customer hasn’t bought the product or level of service they really need. Sounds like not a good reason – until you consider are you managing expectations or provided an alternative path. A mismatch occurs when you think it’s not a good reason, yet they do.
Maybe the root cause is a level of tolerance of problems has evaporated. The current complaint seems small. But there was really a series of things that went wrong creating a snowball effect. The current complaint may seem unreasonable, but there is more to it.
Eventually customer dissatisfaction escalations.
Threats to leave or throw you out are made. Charged emotions abound. Executives step in or take a watchful eye. On both sides.
How you handle the next steps can make a big difference.
A human reaction can be to be defensive when we are in the wrong. While instead assertively addressing things instead can turn the situation around.
What you do makes a difference
Key strategies to consider:
- Be clear and direct about the status of problems and what you are doing about it.
- Actively listen to the customer’s goals and objectives.
- Involve the customer in the solution creation. They know their business the best.
- Communicate well internally with sales, service, success, development teams that may be dealing with the escalation. Be on the same page.
- Create room for your team to work and achieve progress – separate them out and protect them.
- Know what you can and can’t do. Sometimes, acknowledging the situation leads to a stronger relationship. (Or a better parting if that is the best resolution.)
Funny how inserting calm, making sure the team has room to work, listening, being clear and direct… works wonders.
With the result, that a credible relationship is built with the customer, and they want to do more business with you. Turning customer dissatisfaction around.