Let’s talk about heartbreak—we’ve all been there. Whether you’ve been let down by someone you trusted, your affections have gone unrequited, or you’ve simply run out of steam, getting unlucky in love can really smart. When you think about it, the same can apply to a trusted company. One ugly advertising blunder, one poorly-timed product failure, or simply one too many emails can turn a loyal client into one unhappy customer. They’re mad, you’re embarrassed, you’re both hurt—Nobody walks away from this scenario happy. As they say, breakups stink.
But, as in the best rom-coms, there’s hope for second chances! Here are a few strategies you can use to mend your relationship with a disgruntled customer.
Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes the biggest mistake we make is not understanding that about each other. When a business makes a blunder and owns up to it, that shows strength of character and an awareness of all-too-human imperfection. The slip-up can be as simple as a typo on a crucial direct mail piece, or as large as misplacing your clients' money or personal information. Whatever the misstep, if it causes brows to furrow and tempers to flare, the best strategy is to come clean and say you’re sorry. A letter of apology with a pledge to do better could make the difference between a client who walks away for good and one who appreciates the candor and gives you that second chance.
Hand them the keys.
Have customers complained that they get too many emails from you? Are your clients frustrated because no one ever answers their phone calls? An “Unsubscribe” button at the bottom of a marketing email is a tacit acknowledgment that you’re fine giving clients their space. That power speaks volumes to a happy customer who may just receive too many emails already; they love you, but they don’t need to hear from you constantly. And if phone calls to your office or store are going unanswered, it may be time to set up an online portal: scheduling appointments, filling out forms, and answering frequently asked questions are all things you can accomplish on your website, no voicemail needed.
Sometimes love is blind. Good thing you have your ears to pick up the slack! Your number one asset is your clients, and your most valuable resource is their feedback. Whether they want to suggest changes to your business, air grievances, or sing your praises, the ability to have their voices heard keeps clients coming back and sticking around. Give out review cards at every onsite visit, include survey links in your emails, and make your social media channels places where visitors are free to speak their minds. Be responsive, respectful, and empathetic to this feedback, and you’ll see why lending an ear is the best tool in your relationship arsenal.
We know love is hard, but it’s nothing a good pair of ears and a little humility won’t help you with. We’re right there with you, ready to tackle all your compassionate marketing needs!