How to Clean up a Bad Customer Service Case and Regain Your Brand’s Reputation

July 3, 2015 - Customer Service Tips

Bad things just happen, no matter how carefully you prepare for the unexpected problems. However, it sucks to be labeled as “the worst company ever” in the market and have your business’s reputation fallen apart just because of a bad customer service.

If you’re not the type of people who just know to cry like a baby when your customer service gets criticized then keep on reading this article. Be strong and stand up to fix the wrong things. I’ll show you that a bad customer service is not the end of the world and how you can retrieve customers with a better customer service after a reputation crisis.

Warning: Be careful! These tips can’t help if your customer service is truly a waste of time for customers!

1. Get the facts straight before taking action

tips-to-clean-up-bad-customer-service-case-1Taking reaction immediately to solve the crisis with your customer service is a right thing to do. But before doing so, take a step back and keep calm then gather information around the bad case first. You already had bad-mouthed words for your customer service or a 1-star review stick right in the face of your brand. Acting quickly but recklessly is dangerous.

Dig deeper to the case to investigate the cause of customer’s distress. Is it from your weak product? Or is the customer service system broken down at some point? Or is it purely the fault of that customer support agent? Think about what you need to do along with sending customers a sincere “Sorry”.

If you’re the manager of customer service team, don’t just assume the blame on your team. You should know that most customer service failures aren’t due to the members themselves but the bad products or process. It’s very unfair and frustrating for service agents to be the one to blame without consideration. Managers need to view things from both sides and before chewing out his team, he needs to collect the facts to make things right for both customers and his team.

2. Drop the excuses and show your understanding

tips-to-clean-up-bad-customer-service-case-2You’re wrong. That’s as clear as black and white. The next step you should do to show that you’re truly seeking for another chance with customers is to acknowledge that you’re wrong. Don’t give excuses. Excuses are nonsense to an unsatisfied customer.

A sincere and humble apology will calm down your customers. That’s the first thing you can do when responding to a bad customer’s review. It’s totally okay to admit that you’re wrong – we all get things screwed up sometimes. An apology might work like a charm in showing your honest attitude toward the problem. And it also shows that your customer service team is also human by having the heart as well as understanding to solve the problem.

In your response, be sure to focus on how much you care about customer’s experience. Don’t use heartless words like “I am sorry for the inconvenient and according to our policy blah blah blah”. Softening your reply with sympathetic reply like “I’m sorry for the bad experience. Let me check if we could do something to help you” could brighten customer’s bad mood and save your day.

3. Make things right for customers

tips-to-clean-up-bad-customer-service-case-3Saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t make a case closed. Your customers may not expect the perfection from you but when they experience a bad customer service case, they need a resolution. You should understand clearly that apologizing alone doesn’t tell anything about good customer service. Fixing the problem does.

So if you finish saying sorry, go ahead and fix things up for customers (make sure they know about it too). Gather your team up and work with them to resolve any issue customers have. If it’s a fault in your product, let customers know that the problem will be fixed right away so they can be confident using your product again.

If it’s a fault in your customer service system for not being able to meet customer’s need, focus and train your members better for each customer support channel. Get the feedback of what needs to be improved from your team members too.

Your customers can’t always be right, but you can make it easier for customers to be right. How about removing some bad policies that cause customer’s distress?

For example, if your refund policy requires evidence or proof of a bad product or customer service before returning customers their money if they’re not satisfied then you should simplify it to a no-question-asked refund policy. Removing barriers helps you to say “Yes” more with customers and makes them happier buying things from you.

Remember this mantra: putting your customers first and any problem can be resolved.

4. Learn from the bad

tips-to-clean-up-bad-customer-service-case-4What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And bad customer reviews will help make your customer service better if you take the lessons learnt from these cases seriously. Otherwise, if you neglect them, your customer service can fracture your brand’s reputation easily. What will make customers come back after a bad experience? It’s an honest apology, an appropriate attitude in fixing the problem and never committing the same mistakes again to customers.

Take any negative review as an opportunity to learn and improve your service. By doing so, your team will be trained better and this will help them deal with unexpected problems better the next time. Not to mention that if you’re a manager, you will understand your members better too.

Note: You can learn more from other companies’ success as well as failure stories with customer service here.

To conclude,

You may fail the trust of some customers once. But never let it happen twice. Although there are many things you can do to cover up a bad customer service, regaining trust from customers is effort and time consuming.

Don’t let your customer service become so rotten and make it an impossible mission to pull pack customers. Once they decide to walk away from you, no matter how many baits you offer, they may never turn their head back.

Have you had a customer service nightmare or victory story to tell? Share with us by commenting below!

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