Let’s face it. Stuff happens. You can try as hard as possible, work diligently and have all of the best intentions but there are times when despite your very best efforts, things go wrong.
Sometimes it can be little things and sometimes the situation is much more problematic but yes, stuff happens even when we work our hardest to make certain that it doesn’t.
Yes, we’re all human and when things go wrong there are action steps that we must take in order to minimize the damage and turn an unhappy client back into a raving fan.
Accept responsibility. Don’t try to throw someone else under the bus. Although the client might be unhappy they will respect you more if you don’t try to push the issue to the side or blame someone else.
Take action just as soon as possible. The client wants the problem solved. They don’t want excuses or reasons; they want a satisfactory solution. Reasons can come later but for now they simply want you to make things better! Once the situation is solved they will also want reassurance that the same thing won’t occur again.
Make certain that the solution you’ve developed meets with the approval of the client. Providing an unacceptable solution is providing no solution at all.
Show your appreciation for their understanding and patience. A discount on a future purchase, offering something for free at the time of the problem (i.e. shipping), or even a tangible “appreciation gift” that demonstrates your thanks should be considered.
Remember that it is much more costly to win new clients as it is to retain existing ones. Take very step possible to satisfy a disgruntled client and you will have a more loyal client for the long haul.