You know you have the best product available for a particular market and you are sure it's going to meet the needs of everyone in that market, and everyone is going to be so happy; you will have all happy customers with no complaints! That could happen in a perfect world, but since none of us inhabit that kind of world it makes sense to be prepared for unhappy customers. These customers may be unhappy for a number of reasons like, the product did not meet their expectations, they did not experience the desired results, they were dissatisfied with the color or texture; they may regret an impulsive purchase and would like to have a refund, or because buying often involves the emotions, the initial enthusiasm for the product has waned.
Regardless of the reason for the dissatisfaction, how the complaint is handled makes the difference between customer retention and customer abandonment. Successful entrepreneurs and small business owners recognize that it takes humility, tact, and discernment to cultivate and maintain good customer relationships. Your goal should be to make and keep your customers happy to the extent possible. Not only is this the prudent course from a business perspective, but this is also the best course for human relations. Admittedly, there are some persons who you will never satisfy, but that becomes their problem, not yours.
It has been said that when someone is happy with your products or service they will tell three people, but when they are dissatisfied they will share this with 3,000. Which would you prefer? With the proliferation of the Internet even large organizations that previously thought that one customer's dissatisfaction would not make an impact, have found to their regret that is no longer the case. One person can garner the opinions of thousands around the world to create a loud complaint that demands attention and correction.
Responding kindly and promptly offering to correct the situation is the most effective route to take in addressing customer dissatisfaction and increase retention. Make it seem to the customer that this was the easiest thing to correct and, in fact, you appreciate that they brought it to your attention. People want to feel important and if you can genuinely keep them feeling that way, they will leave your space feeling that you really appreciate them and they would rather do business with you than anyone else who may provide similar products and services.