15 Tips on Dealing with Unhappy Customers When Dropshipping
- Listen and understand your customer
- Apologize and take responsibility
- Empathize and remain respectful
- Timing is everything
- Address them correctly
- Avoid anonymity
- Make sure to reply on all channels
- Do not talk about your problems
- Come up with a solution
- Ask for more time to resolve the issue
- Follow up
- Handling refunds
- Keep your FAQs page updated
- Listen to constructive criticism
- Choose your customer service team wisely
When you are operating a dropshipping eCommerce store you will face different types of customers on a daily basis. Unfortunately, unhappy customers are collateral for every business just as easy ones are. Even if you are doing your best to keep each and every customer satisfied some of them will just be unhappy with your product or your service. For this reason, customer service is also a vital part of being in business.
Social media channels and other apps where you can review shops and businesses are on the rise now. Unhappy customers are able to air out their frustration on multiple platforms and the way they please. They would either message you directly or what is even worse, just give you a negative review straight away. You should try to avoid getting negative reviews that can damage the reputation of your brand or store. For doing this you will need great problem-solving skills, react in time, and manage the complaints in the right way. We would like to help you with the following 15 tips on how to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one. If you are successful in applying these techniques they might even be your returning customers in the long run.
Listen and understand your customer
The best thing you can do is not take any comments or messages personally right away. First, try to understand what your customer is angry about. This might be something that is out of your control. Or if you are lucky, it is something that you can change and improve in the future. Anyways let them just let out all their frustration without interrupting them and getting upset.
Apologize and take responsibility
After hearing your customer out, it is very important to apologize and let them know that you understand their frustration. This is a must, regardless of who’s fault made your customer angry. Even if it is not your brand or shop to blame, you should still apologize and take responsibility for your contracted companies, such as your suppliers. This will help to set a different and friendlier tone for the conversation going forward and to re-establish trust. You want to make sure you apologize in a sincere tone so your customer really does believe you.
Empathize and remain respectful
We know this is not the easiest thing to do, but you have to keep calm at all times when communicating with an unhappy customer. Being rude or disrespecting your customers will only wind them up even further. You should try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes to be able to understand where they are coming from. Using the right words and putting aside your own viewpoint can help you greatly when it comes to empathy. The end goal is to validate your customers’ perspectives and reduce their anger.
Timing is everything
Response time is critical. It always makes a great impression even on the most furious customer if you respond in a timely manner. This is critical to keep in mind as your competitors are just one click away and you can lose a customer in a blink of an eye. If you do not feel that you have the capacity to respond immediately or your customer service team needs some help with attending to multiple customers at a time, consider using a chatbot on your website. You can simply start with an automated greeting message and a question on the issue they are inquiring about. This would also allow both you and your team to better prepare for questions and complaints before picking up the conversation with the unhappy customers.
Address them correctly
When replying to your unhappy customers on a review, in email, or on a chat, it is best to greet and address them by their name. This will make them feel that they are talking to a human, even though nowadays chatbots can detect names and addresses accordingly as well. Also, this will help with establishing a more personal connection with your customers. They will really feel that their problem is important to you and your business.
Just as addressing your customers by their name, sharing yours is equally important to make the interaction more personal. Always add your or your team member’s name to the chat when speaking to a customer. Alternatively, when replying on social media, always include your name at the end of each reply.
Make sure to reply on all channels
Some, and many times the most frustrated, customers will take their issue immediately on your social media channels before directly contacting you. Here if you try and redirect them to your live chat or get them to call you on phone, you would just make things worse. Make sure that you or your team solves the issue within the channel your customer complained through and is comfortable with.
Do not talk about your problems
You need to learn to never bring your business’s problems into a conversation with unhappy customers. They will perceive this as you do not care about their problem or you think they do not even have one. Your customers do not want to hear your excuses but they want a solution as soon as possible, so offer them one instead.
Come up with a solution
Although an unhappy customer wants nothing but a quick solution to their issues. Unfortunately, you will not be able to resolve all possible customer complaints especially if it is beyond your control. For this reason, the best is to first assess the situation and try to provide a solution or compensation that is either in your control or the scope of your business.
Ask for more time to resolve the issue
Some issues or problems might take a little longer to resolve than others. If you feel like you are unable to come up with a satisfactory enough solution for your customer’s issue at the moment, politely ask for some time and follow up with them later. In the meantime, try to offer a replacement or some other compensation.
If you have asked for more time to resolve an unhappy customer’s issue, make sure you get back to them within the timeframe promised. This is very important as otherwise, you would further damage your reputation. Following up is also a great way to ask for feedback and reviews even if there was no problem with the product or service. This will help you with maintaining a good relationship with all your customers as they will feel that you care about their experience.
Having to deal with refunds when dropshipping is a little tricky. Since your dropshipping supplier is the one who ships the items you sell, you don’t really deal with the returned goods. But your customers usually don’t even know this. In case your customer is unsatisfied with the product that your supplier delivered to them, you should follow your supplier’s return policy and assure your customer that everything will be taken care of. Your dropshipping supplier should accept the returned goods if the policy is followed so that you could refund your customer.
Keep your FAQs page updated
This can not only help you with resolving a problem but also avoid them. On the FAQs page, you can give additional information to your customers prior to or after purchase. This page can also help your team’s work while they are unavailable to reply to customers’ complaints immediately. Keep it updated with common issues arising among your customers about a specific product or your services. This will clear out any misunderstanding prior to the purchase.
Listen to constructive criticism
Constructive criticism should be listened to and channeled to those who are in decision-making positions. Customer service can generate useful data and information for product development and sourcing when actively listening to customers. This way you can improve your product offering to better suit your customer’s needs. Also, can help to eliminate future frustration with products or services.
Choose your customer service team wisely
Last but not least, picking the right people for your customer service team can be vital for your business. They will be the first point of contact and the voice of your brand that unhappy customers encounter with. For this reason, everything from their tone of voice to the level of empathy can affect your business. So, it is highly important to have the right person answering your customers’ queries.
By using these techniques you can keep your customers calm and regain their trust at the end of the process. If they have a good experience with your company they will be the best promoters of your business. Word-of-mouth and peer-to-peer marketing are still the most effective and trusted ways to get the word out about your brand.
Consider including these tips in your company culture and educate your customer service representatives alike. This way they will not only be prepared for customer interaction but also will help you retain the integrity of your company and most importantly your customers as well. If you would like to read further about how to excel in customer service, invest in a book that best suits your business.
About the Author
Fashion marketing professional turned digital marketer. My name is Lilla and I have been working in the fashion industry for 5 years. Currently working at BrandsGateway and helping with the development of the marketing strategy and on occasions writing articles for our audience. When away form the computer, I enjoy outdoors and running with my dogs.