By Amy O’Connor

When things go wrong that negatively affect your customers’ perception of you and/or your company, you face a choice: Let the relationship die or rise above and find ways to make it right.

There is an opportunity awaiting you to turn unhappy prospects into highly impressed customers!

Here are five ways you can impress a disappointed customer:

1. Keep people informed

“No news is good news” does not apply when things go wrong.

When things go wrong, you must over-communicate with your customers.

When people feel stressed out, they begin thinking the worst. And what feels like “over-communicating” to you, feels like reasonable communication to your customer.

Even when delivering bad news — and especially when things go really wrong — keep your customer in the loop.

2. Communicate face-to-face

Texts, phone calls and emails are all well and good until things go wrong.

At a point of crisis, nothing works like face-to-face conversation. A real, live conversation communicates genuine compassion and respect in a way that digital communication cannot.

It never hurts to say something personal to your customer when things go wrong. Reminding them of your care and commitment to service is always a good place to start.

3. Tell the truth and own it

Chances are when things go wrong, you know exactly where the point of failure occurred. And even if you don’t, take ownership anyway.

It is hard to stay mad when somebody puts themselves out there and takes responsibility.

The absolute worst thing you can do is to push blame onto the customer. Even if they deserve to share the blame, never…I repeat…NEVER try to express that to someone who is already unhappy.

4. Stay Positive

There is a fine line between empathizing with your customer and contributing to the problem.

The last thing you want to do as a sales professional when things go wrong is to add flame to the fire of negativity.

Passing blame onto other personalities in your organization will only hurt you in the long run. Stay away from bad mouthing your tribe in an effort to keep your hands clean.

Empathy is vital when trying to resolve a conflict, but once you make your customer feel heard and understood, direct the conversation to resolution.

5. Apologize sincerely

There are no more powerful words than those of a genuine, “I’m sorry.” Start and end the conversation with your customer here.

When things go wrong, we face a golden opportunity to create a positive impression and secure customer loyalty. So, stop hiding and face that opportunity head-on!