Finding new customers is a challenge, but one of the biggest challenges a business faces is winning back customers that leave. Here are some tips on how to recover customers when you’ve made a mistake and lost a valuable customer that you certainly don’t want to lose.

First, you have to own up to the mistake, instead of getting defensive about it. You have to put yourself in the customer’s position, instead of trying to defend your own. It doesn’t matter if you had supplier issues, delivery breakdowns, or even natural disasters to deal with. All your customer knows, is they didn’t get their product, or you fouled up some other way. Own it, and make it right, period. Many companies today don’t follow this consumer solution, and then they wonder why they lose customers. If you screw up with a customer, and you can’t provide a solution, you’re going to lose that customer, so sit down, be mature about it, and come up with a solution that will work.

Another solution that can work in many cases is actually asking the customer what they would like as a solution. Empowering the customer with part of the solution makes them part of the team, and allows you to meet their needs then and there. Your customer is angry, and has definite ideas about what they want as a result, so keeping them in the loop is one way to make them happy and keep them as a customer at the same time.

This works in another way, too. When you find out what will make them happy, you might find out something that you didn’t know was going on in your company, and you can take action to make much needed changes. These changes can keep you from making the same mistake with other customers in the future, and that will make for more happy customers.

When you make it right with your customer, don’t stop there. When you finally come to a solution that’s equitable to your customer, throw in something extra. After all, your customer was unhappy and inconvenienced. You’ve made them happy, finally, but they were still on the edge of leaving your business. Now it’s time to make them really want to stay. For example, if your customer returns a product because it’s defective, and you give them a new product, chances are they’ll take the product and not return to your store, given the impression you sell defective products. However, if you give them a discount coupon, or a coupon for a free product, chances are they will return, to use the coupon, or because they see you truly want their business. Give them something more, and they’ll become a loyal customer.

Use these tips to create more customer loyalty, and to get back customers who aren’t happy with your business, and you’ll create happier customers that will tell others about your business and build up your brand.

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