Unhappy customers: how do you manage customer dissatisfaction?

Ah, unhappy customer, that mysterious creature who seems to appear from the shadows every time you need a quiet day at work. You know them well, don’t you? 👀

They’re a bit like the unwanted guests at a surprise party you never planned after all…

But, don’t worry, you’re certainly not the only one in this adventure! So, instead of running away, learn to handle them with grace and humour because yes, humour can be a secret weapon against customer dissatisfaction. 🔪

So buckle up and get ready to dive into the thrilling 🫀 world of dealing with an unhappy customer

Because after all, if life gives you lemons, why not turn them into sparkling lemonade? Anyway, let’s get on with it

Why respond to an unhappy customer?

You’re probably thinking but, why respond to an unhappy customer? 🤔

Well, first of all it shows that you care about their concerns and satisfaction. Because yes, by dealing with their problems and complaints, you can prevent their dissatisfaction from escalating and spreading like the plague to other potential customers. 😱

What’s more, if you manage to respond cleanly to an unhappy customer, this can be an opportunity to rebuild trust and strengthen the customer relationship. 🔗

Finally, responding to an unhappy customer is a way of getting valuable feedback on your products or services. Think of it this way, their criticisms can reveal problems you might not have noticed before, allowing you to improve your offering and thus better meet your customers’ needs in the future. 🌠

At the end of the day (I’m not talking bank account), responding to an annoyed customer is essential for managing your company’s reputation. 🦋

What are the drivers of customer dissatisfaction?

In reality, the factors behind dissatisfaction can vary depending on the type of product or service, individual customer expectations or even the company’s sector

However, just for your benefit, here are a few common factors: 👇🏼

  • Poor quality of the product or service ➡️ main reason for customer dissatisfaction, as customers expect their purchases to meet their needs and work properly.
  • Poor customer service ➡️ slow response, inefficiency, lack of empathy, lack of professionalism.
  • Communication problems ➡️ unclear, contradictory or inconsistent communication from the company, such as advertising errors, broken promises or misleading information.
  • Excessive prices ➡️ Prices that are too high for the perceived quality can cause irritation.
  • Failure to meet deadlines ➡️ delays in delivery, failure to meet agreed deadlines.
  • Little personalisation ➡️ Lack of personalisation in interactions and offers can lead to dissatisfaction.

Example of dialogue from a dissatisfied customer

Here is an example of a complaint from one of our unhappy customers

How to deal with customer dissatisfaction in 6 steps?

Faced with the inevitable painful challenges of customer satisfaction, it’s essential for businesses to know how to navigate the deep and sometimes choppy waters of dissatisfaction

Thanks to our superb Head of Customer Experience at Waalaxy 👽, aka Mickaël Prous, find out how to deliver an unforgettable customer experience. 💟

Are you ready? Good timing, we’re here, so let’s get started! ⬇️

💟 A little bonus: in the course of this checklist, we’ve slipped in a few screenshots of our Waalaxy customers’ sweet nothings after our support team, aka our superheroes, have sorted out their problems. You’ll see, it’s cute 🥹

1) Fast, personalised response

First and foremost, a fast, personalised response. We advise you to minimise the time between each message exchange (less ➖ than 5 minutes on a chat and less ➖ than 1 hour by email). ⏰

For a personalised touch, don’t hesitate to use annotated screenshots of the user interface, which will not only save you time, but will also allow you to put yourself in the user’s shoes, and they really like that. 👀

Finally, don’t hesitate to create an ultra-complete pre-recorded answer as soon as a question comes up 3 times!

Test it out, you’ll thank us. 😏

2) Active listening for an unhappy customer

The second step in this checklist is active listening. Let me explain. Don’t hesitate to rephrase questions when in doubt, don’t give an immediate answer, it avoids losing information

Here, as a gift 🎁 , are some important and not insignificant steps to put active listening into practice when dealing with a dissatisfied customer. ⬇️

🥇 Rephrase questions when in doubt

If a customer expresses their dissatisfaction to you in a vague way, don’t immediately delete the conversation. Instead, take the time to rephrase their questions or concerns to ensure you correctly understand what they wish to communicate. 💬

🥈 Confirm what the user wants to do

Don’t hesitate to clarify the customer ‘s intentions to avoid any misunderstandings. To do this, ask them to specify what they want to achieve or solve. This step helps to avoid certain problems and ensures that you are working towards the same goal as the customer. 😏

🥉 Ask for further details

To better understand the situation, encourage the customer to provide detailed information about their problem (like screens, it’s more meaningful 😉 ). To do this, you can ask open-ended questions that invite the customer to explain in more depth. For example, ask them to describe the circumstances or steps that led to the problem

🎖️ Encourage the user to provide videos or screenshots

This is what we said earlier. If the problem relates to a digital product or service, suggest that the customer provide visual evidence such as screenshots or videos. You can even recommend a simple, user-friendly tool to do this, such as free screen capture software. 🎥

3) Empathy and positivity for a difficult customer

We’re already halfway through this checklist and we’d advise you to follow this tip closely. 👀

Even if you sometimes come across an unhappy customer, we advise you to banish the use of negative phrasing, which could make the situation worse. 😱

Instead, don’t hesitate to put yourself in their shoes and recognise the user’s emotion with a method invented by our support team at Waalaxy, the CRAC method (we talk about it again in the frequently asked questions, below 😉)

An excellent question! You can use contextual smileys to liven things up, like

  • 🔄

However, avoid more ordinary smileys such as

  • 😃
  • 😁
  • 😊

Finally, don’t be afraid to use gifs with TV references for example from cartoons, like this one. 👇🏼

4) Clear and practical solutions

Here, we’re fed up with blah, blah, blah – what we want is the real thing! So don’t hesitate to provide a detailed answer to guide the user, with screenshots or even videos

What’s more, don’t forget to systematically explain the reasons for any action to be taken. As my dear SES teacher used to say to me all the time (kisses if you’re passing by), I assert, I express, I illustrate! 💡

Finally, you should always anticipate the user’s need and thus provide elements of answers in order to minimise the chances of follow-up. 🔄

5) In-depth knowledge

If you want to be able to provide a more than adequate response to your customer, you owe it to yourself to have impeccable customer service and train them for total autonomy. Well, let’s put it this way: make them experts! 😈

To do this, we advise you to set up a guide, a knowledge base available internally that is fed by all the teams

Finally, you could quite easily set up a customer service QA system where each person ensures the good quality of their responses and those of their colleagues. 💚

6) Follow-up and feedback

Last but not least, follow-up! 😇

Don’t hesitate to keep the user informed of the progress in solving their problem. That way, they’ll feel confident and privileged

Get your first customers this week

Take advantage of the power of Waalaxy to generate leads every day. Start prospecting for free, today.

waalaxy dashboard

How do you respond to an unhappy customer?

Well, now that you know more about how to engage with a customer and deal with their dissatisfaction, check out our sample responses to answer them properly and with a smile. 😇

Examples of how to respond to an unhappy customer

To help you, we’ve put together 3 sample responses to a customer chat, a customer email and a negative review on Google

Take notes, and off you go! ⬇️

1) Response to a dissatisfied customer in a chat room

Here’s the customer’s message

Customer: “I’m really unhappy with the delivery of my order. It arrived late, and on top of that, the packaging was damaged.”

2) Calm down an unhappy customer by e-mail:

Another case and another message from a customer

“I can’t believe how terrible your service has been. I’ve had a really unpleasant experience with your company.”

3) How do I respond to a negative review on Google?

Finally, it’s important for you to understand that responding to a negative Google review is important in order to show that you take your customers ‘ concerns seriously and are therefore prepared to resolve them

How about a quick recap?

You often have to deal with complaints and dissatisfied customers. In this article, we explained how to deal with unhappy and dissatisfied customers

During your exchanges, you need to understand how to manage the customer’s complaint depending on the type of customer, deal with complaints, sometimes carry out a commercial gesture, offer compensation depending on the nature of the request

If you want to build customer loyalty later on, we advise you to be sincere in your exchanges and handle the complaint with care, especially if you notice general dissatisfaction. 🦋

Frequently asked questions

Did you think we’d finished with you? Well, we’re not! Here are a few more questions we’ve received. ⬇️

How do you retain an unhappy customer?

Well, if you want to retain an unhappy customer, it’s essential to put in place effective customer complaint management

When faced with a wave 🌊 (this isn’t Australia) of customers expressing their dissatisfaction, customer services must be the right mediator to defuse the situation. Here, just for your benefit 👀 (promise, we’re not hitting on you), are 4 tips for handling customer complaints and dealing with complaints in a way that turns an unhappy customer into a satisfied, loyal one, while preserving the brand image: ⬇️

  • Apologise if necessary: if the company has made a mistake, apologise sincerely. Customers appreciate transparency and accountability.
  • Proactive resolution: look for solutions to solve the problem and improve the service. Involve the customer in the resolution process, consulting them on the steps to follow.
  • Customer relationship management: use complaints handling as an opportunity to strengthen customer relationship management.

By managing an unhappy customer effectively and, above all, dealing with their complaints with empathy and diligence (we’re not talking about cars, focus…), you can not only resolve specific problems 🧪 but also turn a negative experience into an opportunity to strengthen customer loyalty and your company’s brand image

How do you talk to a dissatisfied customer?

Our support team has created a 3-step method inspired by FBI best practice, I call it the CRA method (we’re not talking about a Dofus class 🏹, stay focused for a moment longer)

  • 🥇 Understand: identifies the emotion the client is experiencing.
  • 🥈 Recognise: tell your customer what you think they’re feeling.
  • 🥉 Act: solve their problem.

Our Head of Customer Experience explains it all in his LinkedIn post. 👈🏼

And that’s it, that’s now the end of our article talking about unhappy customers. See you soon. 🤍

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