There are proactive customer service techniques and reactive ones. Of course, proactive includes marketing to your customers and reaching out to make sure they’re doing well

When the store manager walks around the restaurant and asks everyone if their food tastes good, that is proactive customer service. Reactive, however, comes after someone is already mad. And fixing the problem is the fastest way to do it.

Not just an apology

Imagine you go out to eat and all the food is cold. By the time you are done with the meal, you’re probably pretty mad you had to suffer through bad food and then tip on it. So when you tell your waiter that the food was bad, it’s pretty annoying to just hear them say, “Sorry. We’ll do better next time.” Instead, your waiter or waitress should offer to fix the problem in some way, which could come in the form of a discounted or free meal or a coupon to come in another time. It may also be as simple as giving the customers a few free drinks to get them happy again. How you fix the problem will be dependent on the situation and the customer, but fixing it is essential to maintaining your business.

Start by knowing your customers

Every business needs to respond differently to customers if they are really interested in fixing the problem.

But how can you do that if you don’t know how your customers communicate or what they would expect? One thing that is pretty important, especially if you cater to a lot of younger customers, is to offer a way for them to text in their problems. For example, a customer could text you that there is no toilet paper left in the bathroom, to which you would respond that you are immediately fixing the problem and offer a discount on their meal for having a bad experience. Make sure to actually fix the problem.

Another example might be a customer who felt picked on by a waiter. They could text in that the waiter wasn’t very nice tonight, to which you can ask about who the person was waited on that evening and offer a gift card for them to come back in. Then, fix the problem by talking to that waiter about his reactions with customers. With the ability to text in complaints means you can improve your business faster than ever before, and your customers will feel good knowing all they had to do was send a quick text to get everything fixed.

Ending the conversation

There are some ways you don’t want to end the conversation. For example, saying, “best wishes” isn’t very well received by people, according to Entrepreneur. This is likely because people think you aren’t sincere in your attempt to fix the problem or that you just want them to leave. Rather, you can end with something such as, “thank you for your feedback” or “we hope we resolved your problems.” By ending more resolute or acknowledging them within your goodbye, they feel much more validated.

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