There is no avoiding the inevitability of unhappy customers and canceled orders, but there are ways to prepare for these situations when they do arise. Companies and sales reps that engage with their customers in a respectful manner, always have a better chance of saving orders and inspiring repeat business.
Perhaps the most important and delicately nuanced tool to utilize with an unhappy customer is your conversation and phrasing. Equipped with the following phrases, you can take steps towards saving your next sale.
- “Please explain what happened, and I will be able to help you”
If a customer is expressing dissatisfaction, the most important and effective thing you can do is listen. Use this phrase in order to initiate a dialog, and provide a platform for your customer to express their concerns. It is important to remember never take these types of conversations personally. The customer may seem like they are leading an attack on you, but they are just upset with the product or service your company is providing, which can be resolved.
Once they have explained everything, you can take the necessary steps to address their concerns and move forward. Another conversational nuance to keep in mind, is to avoid personalizing the problem by using phrases like “your issues”. Remember they are of the mindset that the issue is the company’s fault.
- “It’s my/our fault”
This is a powerful sentiment to express on behalf of your company, and can go a long way with an agitated customer. By admitting fault, you may avoid an entire unwinnable argument and shift the tone of the conversation in a positive direction. An angry customer ultimately wants to gain control of the situation they are upset over. By taking blame for their anger, you provide them this feeling of control.
- “Here’s what I can do for you…”
This phrase strikes right at the core of the conversation you are in with your customer when they are upset. They want to know what you will do to better the situation, and inspire them to remain with your company. Whatever you can reasonably do for your customer in this case, you do it. Provide them with every option available, returns, replacements, cheaper alternatives, etc. You may not be able to salvage their current order, but it is certainly possible to satisfy them enough with your customer service that they return in the future.
- “We can provide you with a more efficient/upgraded/better product if you don’t cancel”
If it turns out your customer does want to cancel an order, this phrase can be used to interest them in alternate products or services. Their reason for canceling can be the reason for their need in your other products. These products may be cheaper than the ones they find too expensive, or they may have a better warranty.
- “Please, let me show you this other product related to your needs”
This phrase is the sibling of phrase #4, and leads a customer to alternate products or services your company provides. For the most effective use of this phrase, it is important to have a full understanding of your customer’s specific needs. With this knowledge you can display an informed perspective on why they should be in the market for your alternate product options. They are already canceling or returning one version of your product, so it takes a bit of nuance to persuade them to consider another.