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It’s easy to turn super fans of your brand into customer advocates, but it’s a much more difficult task when it comes to winning over the critical and disgruntled. In order to smooth over such a situation (especially when it starts to spill into the social realm), there are four steps you should take. They can help calm the storm, and even be enough to win over a customer who was ready to walk. Look below to see how T-Mobile is using these steps in its own social CRM strategy.

Be quick to respond

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Timeliness is incredibly important when it comes to resolving a customer crisis. If a customer says they’re ready to walk, don’t assume they’re exaggerating. Be quick to respond to their complaint, question or concern, and ask for as many clarifying details about their situation as you may need. Depending on how sensitive this information is, you may choose to have them contact you another way.

Show you care with sympathy/empathy

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There could be a list of reasons why the customer is complaining. Were they overcharged? Were they put on hold for over an hour with customer service? Once you have the details about their situation, show them that you care, that you can relate to what they’re going through and that you’re eager to resolve this problem for them. This is a situation where a pre-written copied-and-pasted speech won’t cut it. Be genuine and personal.

Say what you’ll do differently to make the experience better/offer resolution

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Once you’ve gotten the whole story, let them know how you plan to help them solve their problem, and how this might be different from what they tried before. If they were stuck on hold for an hour trying to get answers, offer a live-chat option instead. If they were overcharged, tell them you’ll put them in touch with the billing department. Tell them exactly what steps will or should be taken next to help get them what they need or want.

Keep an eye out for positive feedback

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It’s no easy task to get a genuine ‘thank you’ from an angry customer, so make sure you take notice of it when you do. You might want to keep track of them and even reach out to them at some point to offer a testimonial about how they thought the situation was resolved. Even if you don’t, let them know that you saw and appreciate their feedback.

You’ve turned your unhappy customers into advocates, now identify your super fans with our helpful guide.