No matter how hard you try, if you have a successful business, one day a customer will be upset. Maybe a lot of customers have lost confidence. A data breach (think Yahoo), a product from a bad manufacturer got released (think blowing up iPhones), not knowing your audience (think Dixie Chicks), and more can all happen to well-meaning businesses and can cause consumers to lose confidence. But, you can fix it if you want to. Just follow these tips.
Admit to Mistakes
Come out and say, “Yes, I made a huge mistake and I’m sorry.” You’re going to get a lot more love from customers than anyone else when you are honest and humble. But, you have to follow that up with action too.
Push Your Story
Start telling your “why” story far and wide. Tell everyone why you started the business and that you stayed; it is always helpful to be brought back to normal by realizing why you started.
Empathize with Your Customer
When you can put yourself into your customers’ shoes, you’ll be able to empathize with them being upset by whatever happened. Do not make excuses about what happened. Empathize with them and repeat their feelings back to them and apologize, then find a way to make it right.
Even though things feel bad right now, it’s important that you stay positive. While you may feel like you’re in a whirlwind of negativity and you just want to hide and cry, you can’t. You need to stay positive, talk about what you learned, how things will be different, and move on.
Respond and Act Quickly
Even when a problem hits you on the side of the head at 3 am, it’s important to try to respond as fast as you can. A short response that you’re sorry about their issue and you’ll research it further during business hours and get back to them within a certain amount of time will help. Then do what you said you’d do.
Time Heals All Wounds
You may not believe it, but if you act right in the situation, the public does quickly forget and move on to the next problem. That is, if you have acted correctly to fix the problem in a way that is fair to the customer.
Learn from Failure
If a lot of things have gone wrong, even in terms of social media (trying to fix a problem and so forth), it’s important to learn from the failure. As they say, there is no failure; there are only lessons to be learned. Learn them.
Don’t Give Up
When you have a good business that’s profitable and you are committed to fixing the problem, know you can fix it, and you are willing to put in the time, don’t give up. This too shall pass.
Restoring customer confidence may take time, but you can overcome and do it if over time you work hard to fix the problem and avoid repeating it. If you’re really sorry about it, it’ll show in all your actions and your customers will stand by you if you do the right thing.