Making Lemonade

But grumpy customers can actually help your business improve, here’s a couple of ways but just to clarify, we’re not talking about ALL grumpy customers, some people are just born grumpy and some have just had a crappy day, so filter these out and focus on the ones who might have a genuine point (and be sure to put yourself in their shoes).

The turn-arounds

Firstly, be prepared to hear a customer out and not take what they say personally. You need to be open enough to spot the real issue whether it’s stated clearly or hidden in a general rant (read between the lines). If an issue can’t be fixed, be up-front about it. Most reasonable people are tuned to BS but appreciate honesty.

But if it can be fixed with little effort or cost to you, superb! Let the customer know what you’re going to do, include a little spin so they recognise that you’re going above and beyond, and there’s a big chance that customer will turn from a bit of a grumbler into a raving fan. People don’t expect business’s to do more than what they say, but when they do they tend to share it with their friends and family.

Improvement mining

Writing off a complaint is an opportunity missed. If you have a process in place to drill down and find out what the main issue is and then record these for later review, you might find recurring issues. Fixing these issues can be a direct improvement on your business.

Quick example

Your business is actually doing a great job over-all but you still get the odd 3-star rating. Breaking that rating down into specific issues might identify that customers are actually just being put off by the grumpy person on the phone. This is a quick, easy fix that brings that one negative aspect back in line with the rest of your business.