You’re not always praised, that’s a normal thing. Sometimes you deal with negative comments about your school, teachers or the quality. The Internet is a blessing but also can be a curse. It can serve people to leave positive feedback and commit to the business image but also it can negatively affect your company and the opinion about it. How to deal with unsatisfied clients and control the damage?
I hope that you’ve been always getting only positive feedback and your slate is clean, but sometimes a bad situation can happen and it’s good to know how to react. A minor comment of an unsatisfied person can ruin the whole thing and cause a large scale crisis. You know well that whisper marketing is still a strong phenomenon, so one unhappy client can cause a decrease in new registrations. Check the 11 rules of good communication with an unhappy client.
First but the most important thing is to say „I’m sorry”. If you’ve made a mistake, don’t try to repress it in your head. Speak openly about what you’ve done and that you regret it. We are all just human, we make mistakes all the time. Even if the cause of the lack of satisfaction is uncertain, first express your apology, later try to look for that cause. Time is essential here and you don’t have it enough to run a through investigation. React quickly, later you can elaborate more.
A quick reaction is a good reaction, so before a crisis happens, be prepared to deal with it. Run a simulation, create scenarios, practice with your staff and colleagues. A good training is essential. Take a look at customer service agents. They are trained how to deal with unhappy clients and there’s not much that can shock them or suprise them. Maybe your school isn’t a corporation but a set of procedures can be helpful.
Save the negative comment with all the notes and descriptions and try to solve the problem not only directly with the client, but also by speaking to your colleagues. If the problem occurs again and it will result in more negative feedback, that could be really bad for your image. It’s good to publicly announce when the situation clarifies. Remember that even if nobody else is commenting a post on Facebook, except you and the unhappy client, that post can reach hundreds of people.
Learn by your mistakes. After apologizing and solving the problem, analyze the whole situation and get the conclusions. Maybe a brainstorm would be a good idea? Try to improve your procedures to counteract the problem next time.
Offer some kind of a recompensation for a bad situation. It doesn’t have to be huge discount right away, but it can be a free session with a native speaker. Just deal with your unhappy client, show him that you really care. It’s very likely that he’ll forgive you.
- Calm down, relax
After reading a bad comment about your school, it’s possisble that you’ll react in an emotional way. Anger is really unprofessional and shows that you really cannot control yourself. Before you answer, take a few deep breaths, think the whole thing over, consult with your colleagues, look for a solution.
- Don’t waste time
When your car breaks down, do you leave it parked somewhere and forget about it? No, you call a towtruck, don’t you? The same goes with your client’s problems. If they have one, they want you to fix it as soon as possible. If you don’t have the answer right away, just let them know that you are doing everything you can to fix that problem. Don’t keep people waiting too long!
- Do not delete, ever…
The worst thing you can do is to delete the negative comment. Streisand effect rings a bell? If you want to desperatly hide something on the Internet, it’s already been spread, even if your reaction is very quick. It’s not worth it. Of course if we are talking about insults or spam, this rule does not apply.
- Offer a solution
Be sympathetic and helpful. Redirect client to another person if necessary, but never send people away. Even if you can’t help somebody immediately, show them that you care.
- If necessary, talk in private
Sometimes a client can be agressive, nervous or simply too stubborn. If that’s the case, it’s worth to try to move the talks to a private space (office, chat on Facebook, etc). Remember to inform that you’ve messaged somebody in private. On Facebook your message could be visible under „Others” tab.
- You’re not a machine
So prove it and show that you are a real person. Do not copy and paste template answers, it looks bad. If you have some templates, try to modify them each time so they’re not identical.
Even the biggest problem, the most negative comment can lead to a positive ending. A quick and correct reaction are what matters. The most clear advice I can give you is to apologize and always offer a solution. Try to be sympathetic with your clients, it’s worth it!
Let me know how do you deal with difficult situations!