In the words of Stephen R. Covey, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” The first thing you must do when a customer has an enquiry or complaint is digest what they’re saying, as only then will you be able to give a suitable and effective response. In some cases you might not be able to grant the customer what they wish, but listening before acting will ensure that you treat the situation with respect and fairness.



Even if you don’t agree with the customer’s views, it’s very important that you take on board what they have to say and demonstrate that you understand the situation. If you ignore half of the information and give vague or confusing responses, the customer’s faith in you and the brand will become greatly diminished.


Talk to them on their level

If a customer isn’t tech savvy or doesn’t know industry lingo, remove jargon from the conversation. If they’re highly versed in the subject matter, don’t speak to them as if they’re a novice. Talking to people with a level of detail corresponding to their knowledge on the subject will keep the dialogue fluidic and appropriate.


Get to know them

Building a rapport with the customer, whether face-to-face, over the phone or digitally, will help the enquiry or transaction to run more smoothly. However, taking this too far, such as acting overfamiliar or coming across as disingenuous, can have the complete opposite effect and cause the customer to become uncomfortable or distrusting.


Say “yes”

Where possible, give the customer what they want. If it’s something that you simply can’t agree to or deliver, try to come up with an alternative that will satisfy them. Saying yes to a customer can give them instant satisfaction, strengthen their perceptions of your brand and create long-term loyalty with minimal effort.



When properly measured, this can have amazing results. Over-delivering doesn’t need to be a freebie or discount; in fact, the best types of over-delivery are directly related to the customer experience, such as a smooth, swift and friendly transaction and clear reasons for them to continue using your company.


Provide ways to give feedback

Customers want to be able to tell a company what they think, be it good or bad. The best way to provide this whilst keeping public image as positive as possible is to encourage customers to share good feedback via social media, and bad feedback through direct contact with the company (email, phone call, online form).


Stay in touch

This can be achieved in a number of ways, with one of the most effective being a newsletter. By including special offers, interesting content and clear calls to action, this will often result in customers becoming true brand advocates.



How do you keep your customers happy?

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