Make sure your support team has training on how to speak to angry and dissatisfied customers. Give them the tools they need to diffuse tense situations, speak calmly and listen. This can be an intense and demotivating job, so training is essential.
It’s important that your whole team is singing from the same hymn sheet, as mixed messages will only make the situation worse. Ensure that every member of your support team understands your company’s stance on the issue, and the message you are sending out. A loose script of valuable phrases can be helpful, but your team should feel able to express themselves with honesty and empathy.
Your support responses should match the sentiments of your public statement - they should be apologetic, authentic and have authority. They should also be positive - while you’re acknowledging that your company has made a mistake, you should also make sure people understand that you’re making things better. If your support team can show your customers that you’ve learned from this incident, that can be a powerful message.
Increase your support team either by subsidising them from other parts of your business or by bringing in trained temporary staff to help you through this crisis. Nothing will exacerbate this situation more than stressed, under-resourced support staff who don’t have time to make sure they’re looking after each individual customer.
#3 Compensate your customers
If your customers have ended up being short-changed by your disaster, either in time or money, find a way to compensate them. You may not be able to afford to provide full refunds to everyone in one go, but consider giving away discount vouchers and freebies to let people know you’re sorry. If you can turn a negative experience into a positive one, your customers are more likely to come back.