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Better Business Bureau ®
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Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana
#TipTuesday: 6 Tips for Helping Unhappy Customers
Each Tuesday, BBB puts out a new set of tips every consumer can use to keep themselves safer and smarter when making financial decisions.
June 02, 2014


As the old saying goes, "You can't please everyone." Every business is bound to have a few unhappy customers, so BBB offers these six tips for when a customer experience goes south:

Tip #1: Listen. Understand. Empathize. Doing these three things demonstrates genuine concern for your customer's problem and creates a foundation on which the two parties can build a resolution.

Tip #2: No blaming. No excuses. No matter the problem's cause, it is a problem nonetheless. Taking responsibility and the initiative to solve the problem quickly may be the difference between losing and keeping a customer.

Tip #3: Repeat it back to them. To ensure you have the problem recorded correctly, repeat the customer's complaint back to them before moving.

Tip #4: Learn their desired outcome. Does the customer want a refund? Credit? Discount? Learn their desired resolution to ensure you're moving toward the same goal. An undesired outcome may result in another problem.

Tip #5: Propose a solution. Offer a solution to the customer that reflects their desired outcome and is reasonable for your company. Act promptly if the solution is accepted. Otherwise, work to find a fair alternative.

Tip #6: Learn from the experience. Positive things can come from dealing with an unhappy customer. Use the opportunity to fine-tune the way you do business and continually improve your customers' experience.

Finally, always encourage customers to log on to bbb.org and give your company a BBB Customer Review.

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ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, people turned to BBB more than 132 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving E. Washington, N. Idaho & Montana, founded in 1912, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.  

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