5 ways to win back unhappy customers

5 ways to win back unhappy customers

Sunday August 28, 2016,

3 min Read

Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” But for this kind of learning to happen, the entrepreneur must pick up the lesson that is embedded in the situation and apply it to their efforts for winning unhappy customers back. There is no ‘one way’ of simply winning back dissatisfied customers, because solutions tend to differ with situations.


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Any entrepreneur who wants to be successful has to, inevitably, deal with a few not-so-happy customers. But, what will set you apart from your competition is how you bring them back into the fold. Here are a few tricks and tips you can use in order to win back unhappy customers:

Play detective

It’s not necessary for you to start a conversation by apologising. Instead, start a genuine dialogue with them in order to find out what actually went wrong. One important question that employees and entrepreneurs forget to ask their customers is, “What happened?” Apologising right at the start doesn’t mean anything because you won’t know what you are sorry for. So, it’s crucial to get the requisite information to offer a suitable solution.

Be honest and admit your mistakes

After honestly assessing the situation, if you find that the customer has raised valid points, apologise without making excuses. Be it on email, phone or even through a one-on-one conversation, be sure to admit that your company went wrong. Being candid and loyal in your actions is what will help you to win a customer back.

Arrive at a resolution

Most unhappy customers just want their issues to be acknowledged, sometimes even without any further action. As a business owner, it’s always important to ask questions like, “What would you like for us to do for you?” in order to arrive at a resolution. The worst-case scenario is them ending up demanding something that you can’t provide. In situations like these, follow up with what you can provide as an alternative instead.

Share a roadmap of your product

Brennan White of Watchtower says, “When clients want to leave, we often win them back right away by letting them in on the product roadmap and the related timeline.” This will help them determine if your product will become more suitable for them in the future, and most of the time, it will be enough to bring them back!

Offer an incentive

After providing a viable solution to your customer’s problem, seal the deal with an incentive in the form of some price breaks or a gift card. Doing this will not only make your customer happier, but it will also reaffirm their faith in your company and hopefully make them stay. Start out again by expressing your gratitude and never stop doing that.

Although we admit that dealing with unhappy customers can be frustrating or sad at times, it is important to put on a smile and serve them to earn a glorious reputation for your company. Keep a tab on what disgruntled your customers in the first place, and try to avoid the same mistakes in the future.