More Info on Dealing with Frustrated Customers

In last week’s blog we talked about dealing with frustrated customers.

The main focus was on not being defensive and demonstrating a willingness to understand, while helping to diffuse the situation.

This week we are moving on to the second phase of working with someone who is aggravated or angry.

Before we start solving any problems, misunderstanding or resentments that customers or visitors may have, it’s important that we validate the complaint. Find something in their complaint that you can agree with and apologize for.

E.g. If the tasting room is busy and they have to wait, let the visitor or customer know that you also find it frustrating when you have to wait to be served. Or tell them that you wish you could double the size of the tasting area.

Validating their concern or frustration first makes it easier for the person to hear you if you have to explain that you will not be able to handle their request immediately. They may have to wait, but you will serve them soon and the wait won’t be too long.

You also want to have options available for them. You may say that you are quieter earlier in the day and would they like to come back the next day in the morning. Or give them a card for one free tasting (if you charge). You don’t want to comp the whole tasting, as that could be viewed as a reward for bad behavior. You might want to give them a 10% discount on any purchase when they return.

Take the opportunity to change a frustrated and angry visitor into a long-term and loyal customer. Remember: a consumer who has experienced a problem with a company and the problem has had a satisfactory outcome becomes a more loyal customer than a person who has never had a problem.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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