Customer complaints are inevitable. From coffee shops to Michelin star restaurants, everyone comes across unsatisfied customers. No matter how good of a customer experience you provide, it won’t meet the expectations of a few. And many a time there is room for improving the service. However, negative feedback online or offline can damage your business. Be it any restaurant every customer is important. So here is how to address the issue and win back an unsatisfied customer in three simple steps:
Talk Less & Listen More
Be it offline or online hear your guests out. Understand the problem thoroughly to address the pain points effectively. Acknowledging the reason and accepting your mistake is sometimes enough to cool off the situation. It’s also crucial that you maintain a positive voice and tone while addressing the complaint.
Do not argue! I repeat, do not argue with any customer even if they are wrong. Remember, the motto is not to find out who is right instead provide a pleasant experience, so they visit again. Many customers complain about their reviews being neglected by the owner. Also, do not delete negative reviews no matter how bad they are. Deleting reviews will only provocate the customer to talk more negatively about your business. In most cases, customers themselves delete the review if you address the issue properly and apologize for the inconvenience caused. Apologizing, even if the complaint is petty or bizarre, doesn’t harm your business.
Once you have listened to the problem carefully, move to the next step. Provide possible solutions to the issue at the earliest.
Once you understand the pain point of the customer, provide solutions immediately that will benefit both the parties. Of course, solutions will differ based on the scale and size of your restaurant. But the aim is to build trust and make the person feel comfortable, so they visit again. Remember, the customer is the king.
If a customer is physically present at your restaurant and you can solve their problem then and there, do it. If a customer complains about a dish, replace it or provide them with a refund instead of making an excuse. Negative reviews online should also be addressed at the earliest. For instance, if a customer doesn’t like food, ask them for their feedback and work on it. You can also provide free appetizers or small discounts on orders. However, freebies are not always the right choice if you are a stand-alone restaurant. Encourage your unsatisfied customers to visit again so you can provide them with a better experience.
Follow up your solutions with real action. Taking action immediately builds trust and brand loyalty. It makes your customer realize that you took their complaint seriously and genuinely want to improve their experience. Actions speak louder than words always.
Probably the essential element to retain a customer is following up. You have addressed the problem; the customer also revisited your restaurant. But how do you know the problem is solved?
That’s why following up and taking feedback is crucial. Follow-up with your unhappy customers about their experience this time. Remember, the motto is to retain the customer. If a customer is still dicey about their experience, provide them with some incentives. A gift card or some discount coupon will do wonders for your business. It will surely help you retain customers, and they will be delighted to realize you care. If they still have negative feedback reassess the situation and repeat the process.
Now and then you will face a customer who is fixated on the idea that their experience won’t change no matter what you do. In such cases, it’s better to apologize and let them go if you already tried everything in your power.