Unsatisfied customers are an inevitable consequence of doing business and you will run into them no matter how committed you are to seeing them all happy. There will be times when that customer is justified in being upset while there will be others where the situation was entirely out of your control. Strategies do exist where you can diffuse a situation and help a customer feel better and perhaps even turn them into a repeat buyer. In the beginning, every business owner is certain that they must retain every single customer they can but this is not an excuse to allow the business to become a veritable doormat for customers to kick around when they feel like it.

Display Policies and Sales Conditions

Before you even open up your door, take the time to set out in writing your policies on returns or refunds and be sure to place them in a place where customers can see them. If possible, try to include this same information on receipts or sales agreements. That way, there is no doubt about the terms of sale within your business.

Communicate in Calm Voice

Always remain calm! If a customer becomes irate, it is crucial that you, the business owner, and all your employees deal with the irate customer in a very calm, caring manner. Let the customer know that you care about how they feel, even though you may not be able to give them exactly what they desire. If the customer raises their voice, never respond with a loud voice. Remain calm, cool and collected. By keeping a low energy level, you can often diffuse the situation rather than allowing it to escalate into a real confrontation. Always speak tactfully and non-confrontationally. State facts clearly and concisely, but in a caring, friendly tone. No matter how badly the customer behaves, remain dignified and serene. Your serenity will rub off on the irate customer!

Empathy is Good

Empathy doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with the unhappy customer. It simply means that you let the customer know that you understand they are upset and you want to calmly find out all information so that you can best resolve the situation. By showing that you care about them and about their feelings, the situation will remain calm rather than escalating into angry words. Just by stating, “I’m sorry that you are having a bad experience,” can often diffuse a volatile situation.

Find the Problem

Calmly ask the unhappy customer questions to pinpoint the exact source of their unhappiness. Is the product broken or not as advertised? Is it the wrong product for the job they need? Did they find it at a lower price elsewhere? By identifying the source of the unhappiness, you can begin to make headway toward resolving the issue. Once the customer has stated the problem, repeat what you heard back to the customer to be certain that you both understand the situation.

Are There Possible Solutions?

If there are possible solutions to the problem that you are authorized to offer, calmly offer those solutions. Perhaps the product can be returned for refund or replaced. Perhaps an upgrade to another product with payment of the price difference would solve the issue. Whatever solutions you are authorized to discuss, do so in a calm, understanding manner. If the problem involves a policy that is in writing or posted in the business, you can direct the unhappy customer’s attention to the policy. Written policies are very important to avoid situation where a customer will become irate. If the customer remains upset, keep a low energy level and above all – remain calm!

Certain People Just Will Not Be Happy

You must accept that despite all of your best efforts to the contrary, some customers will never be happy. All start-up companies run into these irate customers from time to time and nothing you can do will please them. Once you have exhausted all possible options at resolving the situation but the customer remains hostile and unhappy, you are going to have to accept that probably will not be one of your repeat customers.

It is important not to let one bad experience get your spirits down. So long as you are running a reputable enterprise, you will be able to attract new customers that will more than compensate for the few who get away. It is never a good thing to lose a customer, but sometimes those losses help you to concentrate on growth, mentoring, and even support. Training new employees with the skills they need for conflict resolution is necessary for all start-up companies because sooner or later that unhappy customer will come walking through the door.

About the author:
Ken Bidgood writes exclusively for Advertising XP, visit there today for the latest Business advice, and their free newsletter is well worth signing up for too. If you want to read more Business articles go to: http://www.advertisingxp.com/articles You can also find out where to get the cheapest, most profitable pay-per-click traffic on the net.