The tricky part: Deciding how you’ll solve customers’ post-sale problems

Learn the LATTE method to move the dial from the mad face to the glad face when customers have post-sale problems.

By Michelle Deery

You’ve spent all of this time and energy bringing in your customers, but now they are contacting you with a myriad of problems. It can leave you feeling frustrated and hopeless. It can feel like you’re using time and energy on somebody who may never come back to your business for a repeat purchase.

To you, it may seem more beneficial for your business to limit the time you spend on upset customers so you have more time to bring in new sales. But with the right mindset, you can actually turn a customer with a problem into a loyal customer who trusts your brand.

Here is a look at strategies you can use to help resolve a customer’s issues and to end a transaction on a high note.

Stay friendly

$1.6 trillion is lost due to bad customer service in the United States. As a business owner, this number should be impactful.

No matter how angry or insulting your customer may be, keeping your side of the conversation friendly, understanding, and empathetic can go a long way in ensuring you aren’t adding to that statistic.

[amazon_link asins=’B00300G26I’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e23f1cf0-e8e2-11e8-84fc-8b3bc96520d4′]It may be a headache to deal with, but the customer will remember a positive conversation and even if it doesn’t go the way they want it to, it will help to build trust.

In fact, if things go well, that customer with a bad experience may turn into more of a loyal customer than if the problem didn’t happen in the first place. This is known as the service recovery paradox. With a problem out on the table and a customer forced to interact with you, they get to see a closer view of how you run your business and treat your customers. If the transaction went well in the first place, you wouldn’t have such an opportunity.

With that in mind, always be aware that kindness and empathy will go a long way in building connections between you and your next most loyal customer.

Use the Starbucks LATTE system

There may not be a worse customer than somebody that is in a rush and hasn’t had their coffee in the morning. As a result, Starbucks take pride in teaching their baristas a very powerful customer service system. It’s aptly called LATTE – every letter stands for something different. Here is the rundown:

– Listen

– Acknowledge the problem

– Take action to solve the problem

– Thank the customer

– Explain what you have done

The first step is perhaps the most important. You really need to listen and understand what the customer’s problem is. Don’t just listen, empathize. Imagine what it may feel like being in their shoes.It may seem like a small ordeal to you, but right now to them it means a lot more. After acknowledging the problem, you can take action to solve it. The solution will always depend on the situation at hand, but this is why the first two steps are so important. You need to listen to know what the customer wants. Next, thank the customer.

Remember that despite their frustration with you right now, they have still chosen to be your customer. Finally, give them a clear explanation as to what you are doing to help remedy the situation. This lets your customer know you care and are willing to meet them in the middle if you can’t always give them exactly what they want.

[amazon_link asins=’0770435602′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fef39842-e8e2-11e8-a842-a79ab7976182′]Give customers more channels to reach you

Make contact easy. Make your contact lines easy to spot on your website, business card, or other marketing material.

Offer multiple forms of communication. For example, if you have a live chat service, why not keep the line open for platforms like Facebook Messenger or even WhatsApp?

If you have a physical location, take it a step further and let your customers solve the problem with you in person. In the real world, interaction is far easier. With a smile, a caring look, and the right body language your support can go much longer than it can on the phone or via text.

Secondly, you can use your local store to build your customer’s trust in your products. A refund may be the quickest way to diffuse the situation and we recommend processing the refund through a product like the Shopify POS card reader.

However, this isn’t the only option. Showcase why your customer may have a better experience with your other products or services.

With this, you can let a customer see your product in your store, then when they purchase it, they’ll get all of the same support as they would if they purchased your product online.

[amazon_link asins=’081442032X’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0ffcb519-e8e3-11e8-9354-55c4e0cb8328′]Conclusion

So to summarize this article, take the initiative to be as friendly and empathetic as possible. Use a strategy like LATTE to break down customer service into more manageable steps.

Next, consider your support channels – let them reach out to you on Facebook, IM apps, or even better, in person.

Whether you are talking online, via phone, or in person, make sure you are genuine with your approach and your body language. Really try to care about their situation.

Finally, if all goes well, you may have better luck bringing that customer back.


Michelle Deery writes content for Heroic Search, a link building agency based in Tulsa. Her work has been seen in publications such as The content she writes helps businesses excel in boosting their profits.

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