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What Happens When You Delay Your Response to Your Customers?

Nobody likes to be kept waiting, least of all customers. Waiting can be frustrating, humiliating and a waste of time. The longer a customer is made to wait, the more irritated he or she becomes. If you still fail to respond, that irritation soon turns into anger. This is why delays are among the most common causes of customer complaints.

Tell them that you are sorry and mean it

Imagine that a customer has ordered a product from your online store. Usually, it takes 24 hours for you to deliver the product. But something has happened and you are almost a week late. The customer is livid. What should you do? Phone him and tell him that you are terribly sorry for the delay and mean it. Explain to him why the delay occurred. Often, that works like magic to pacify irate customers. Communication is very important – earlier we clarified how to do it well.

Listen to their complaints sympathetically

Let’s say that a customer has lodged a complaint about a service you had provided, but you are taking your own sweet time to respond to him. As time passes, the customer feels insulted and becomes livid, and one fine day he storms into your office. What should you do? Don’t be defensive. Don’t attempt to downplay the issue. Listen to him sympathetically. Thank him for his patience and tell him that you will look into the matter immediately.

Always speak calmly and politely

Imagine that a customer has been waiting for an hour to receive a service that normally takes only a 15 minutes’ wait. By the time his turn comes, he will be grumbling about the delay. Don’t make it worse by being abrupt and unfriendly. Talk to him calmly and politely. Apologize to him and, if he is willing to listen, explain to him the reason for the delay.

Suggest a solution and offer to take immediate action

Suppose a customer has a problem with a product he bought from you and he’s phoned you several times, but you were so busy that you failed to respond to him. By the time you return his call, he is livid. He accuses you of deliberately ignoring him. Rather than suggesting that he might have mishandled the product, listen to his story carefully. Then suggest a solution and offer to take immediate action. In these cases do not hesitate to give 10-20% discount. Remember keeping a customer is cheaper than acquiring new ones.

After taking action to rectify a delay, follow it up

Once you have taken an action to rectify a delayed action, follow it up. Inquire about the effectiveness of the solution and ask them for a feedback. Ask them if there is anything more you can do for them. Again as I mentioned if possible, offer a discount or gift certificate the next time they buy something from you. This show that you really care and that you are genuinely sorry for the delay.

Let them know that their patronage is highly valued

Everyone appreciates the fact that they are highly valued. Many customers feel that it’s because of them that your business is doing so well. There is absolutely no harm in letting them continue feeling that way. If any of your customers are pissed off with you because of a delay, tell them how highly you value their patronage. This one sentence is often enough to win back their trust and goodwill.

One highly effective solution for delays is to use a mobile CRM software. The best CRM software lets you constantly be in touch with your customers so that delay never becomes an issue. With CRM software, you could also set a reminder to follow up with your customers.

Find out more about our in-house developed, super easy to handle CRM system, QuickDesk:

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