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Almost anyone who starts a business that deals with consumers on a regular basis is going to have to deal with them at some point. We’re talking about the customers who aren’t just unhappy but are also are happy to let you know about it, too. However, if you get them before the “point of no return”, you can often win them back over and, in the process, win their loyalty. Here are a few ways to do it.

Be empathetic

Your first reaction to a customer who is unhappy is to be defensive and to make sure that your business isn’t the target of undue criticism or harassment. However, approaching with your guard up is one of the easiest ways to start things off on the wrong foot. If you’re reaching out to them or replying, then do so with a sympathetic attitude, first and foremost.


Be accessible

If you catch your customer at the point that their frustration is just starting to build up, then you have the excellent opportunity of nipping it right in the bud. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure that help is immediately accessible on the website. While some may prefer to email or phone, you can catch customers when they most need help with live chat integration on the website. You might not be able to solve all problems immediately, but there are definitely some instances of confusion or frustration you will be able to clear up straight away.


Show that they have been heard

Customers that have dealt with support and service agents before may have a good reason to be sceptical about their opinions being taken seriously. In many instances, they will never hear from them again. If you make changes based on the feedback you have been given by a disgruntled customer, then you should publicize it. You can email it to them, if they have given permission or, even better, turned it into a case study that you can publish on your blog and on social media. People love to see a business that is willing to make improvements, not just talk about doing better.


Admit when you have made mistakes

If your business is found making a mistake and, worse yet, those mistakes are made public and blow up to a degree, then you need to be careful how you go. Trying to ignore it won’t make it go away. Similarly, being overly defensive is a no-go, too. To heal a damaged brand, you need to apologize, identify exactly what went wrong, and then show that you’re doing to remedy it. Mastering the art of apologizing is crucial in business because it is likely that mistakes will be made and the responsibility, in most cases, will end with you.


There are, of course, going to be those disgruntled customers who won’t come to see your side of things no matter how much you try. When it comes to those, you have to know when to be willing to focus your attention on more productive avenues of growth. But you shouldn’t give up immediately.