How to Repair the Damage of Bad Customer Service

When it comes to beating your competitors, excellent customer service is what separates the best from the rest. Customer loyalty ensures that you can keep getting repeat business for life while your competitors lose out.

But when a customer has a bad service experience, it drives them to write bad online reviews, complain about your service to their friends, and shop at other stores. Repairing bad customer service damage feels like a daunting task. And although it can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be complicated!

This guide will show you how.

Have a Team Member Dedicated to Repairing Customer Service Issues

Every customer support team should have at least one member dedicated to dealing with negative customer service issues. This customer service representative is the one who, when a customer has a complaint, reaches out to make amends and remedy the situation through further customer interaction.

A common example of this person’s role comes up when a customer leaves a negative review on a site like Yelp. After a review is posted, this team member posts a reply that acknowledges the problem, apologizes, and offers solutions to turn the reviewer back into a happy customer. Responding to a negative review is all about accepting responsibility to the consumer, explaining what changes will be made as a result of the complaint, and showing how the problem will be solved. You might also offer a free gift, discount, or other promotion as a token of your appreciation for their business.

It’s important to note, however, that in public forums, there shouldn’t be a back-and-forth between this person and the customer. After the initial outreach and acknowledgement, the conversation should move to private direct messages if it needs to go further.

This team member is also responsible for using information from negative customer experiences to make lasting company-wide changes solving the issue that occurred. Address problems early and often—the longer you wait, the more the negative experience will “gel” in the customer’s mind. That’s why a fast turnaround time is critical for customer complaints.

Create a Positive Work Culture

Most negative customer experiences are entirely avoidable, and it all starts with your company culture. At the end of the day, happier employees will result in happier customers. Their enthusiasm and positivity will rub off on customers.

Create a culture of accountability, positivity, service, and high expectations, and your employees will act accordingly. When it comes to customer service, prevention is key. A great company culture results in fewer bad customer service experiences to begin with.

Add “After-Hours” Customer Service Coverage

Whether it’s an automated response center, an emergency phone number, online chat, live help via social media, or an AI chat bot for customers to interact with, 24/7 service coverage makes customers feel like you have their backs. The best part is that with modern automation technology, you don’t need to pay a 24/7 employee to do it.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to customer service, the best solution to bad experiences is to get better at preventing them from happening by achieving a consistently high level of customer satisfaction. Some unhappy customers, of course, can’t be prevented. When they do crop up, the key is never blaming them or engaging in a public argument.

Acknowledge, apologize, rectify, and then use the experience to train your customer service agents and improve your processes. Customer feedback is one of your most valuable service tools. When you go the extra mile to make bad experiences right, customers will notice!