Tips & Resources

Five Steps to turn unhappy customers into loyal customers

20 August, 2021

Discover five top tips to help you manage unhappy customers and use this as a opportunity to improve customer service and loyalty long term.

Five Steps to turn unhappy customers into loyal customers

No matter how great your team is or how wonderful your services are, every once in a while you have to deal with a complaint.

Luckily, an unhappy customer does not necessarily have to be a lost customer. It is crucial to find the right way to deal with unhappy customers and to master the situation in a manner that builds customer loyalty. In the best case, you will learn from the experience, make improvements and avoid future complaints.

Successful companies seek dialogue with their customers. They deal confidently with criticism and act in a solution-oriented manner. Follow these five steps to deal with unhappy customers and handle complaints with TIMIFY.

1. Make room for complaints

First, you need to know when a customer is unhappy. While most satisfied customers will rarely leave feedback, unhappy customers are all the more likely to report their negative experiences. Before doing this in their environment—such as on social media—give them the opportunity to communicate their displeasure directly to you.

Make it as easy as possible for your customers to complain to you. You should even encourage them to leave feedback if they weren’t satisfied because customers often shy away from confrontation or think it would be of no use. They would rather stop using your services than complain. And that’s not what you want.

While many businesses set up a special telephone number or email address to receive and handle complaints, a more effective method is to contact your customers directly after a service and ask for their feedback. In this way, you control where they direct their feedback and find out in detail what your customers think of your company.

2. Understand the motives

If you can get your customers to talk to you, you’ve made it over the largest hurdle. Now you have to find out what bothered an unhappy customer in order to fix it. The reasons for a customer's dissatisfaction can be many: poor service, unfriendly staff or different expectations.

TIMIFY offers users the possibility to collect feedback from their customers with the Survey App. You can ask various questions and use a variety of survey options for collecting answers, such as having a star rating, multiple choice answers or text boxes for detailed opinions. You can schedule a follow-up email with a link to the survey to be sent automatically at the conclusion of an appointment or service.

Even if a survey can provide lots of useful information, there are a few things to consider. Follow these steps to create a successful customer survey.

3. Take action

Discovering why customers are unhappy is worth its weight in gold. Obviously, nobody likes to hear criticism, but now you have the opportunity to use this information to improve your company and to turn the criticism into something good.

First and foremost, make it clear to your customers that you have received their feedback and are taking it seriously. This gives your customers a feeling of appreciation and the satisfaction that they are being heard. It also takes the wind out of their sails, preventing them from sharing their displeasure on other platforms, with friends or potential new customers.

After recognising that you received their criticism, you need to win them back. Address the things that were most criticised in the survey. If staff were unfriendly, find ways to motivate them, as this carries over to the customers. If the service was bad, you should find ways to improve the customer experience.

The last thing unhappy customers want is to feel unheard. It is important that you communicate how you addressed their complaints. Show your customers that you take them seriously, that you care about them and that you want to improve. Even if a customer was once dissatisfied, they will appreciate this effort, which has the potential to turn them into a loyal customer.

Create an additional incentive for your customers to book a new appointment by creating a special offer for them. With TIMIFY you can design time-limited promotions that are processed automatically and integrate seamlessly with your bookings. Send these specifically to unhappy customers in order to bring them back to your store.

4. Measure your success

Now check whether your measures are successful. TIMIFY helps you keep an eye on the important key statistics. For example, check if your survey ratings improve over time. If not, consider re-evaluating your measures.

If you created an offer with TIMIFY especially for unhappy customers, you can use the TIMIFY statistics dashboard to track if this generates repeat customers. It also gives you a full overview of your most popular and least requested services, employees, and general resources. Use the statistical data to make decisions for your company.

5. Prevent future complaints

Customer opinions can change quickly. Stay up to date on this and conduct regular surveys. This allows you to discover trends and react accordingly, preventing future customer dissatisfaction.

With TIMIFY you can record information about customers. In your customer database, you can not only see a customer’s booking history, but you can also make notes that will remember their preferences. The customer will appreciate this attention.

In addition, customer profiles can be colour-tagged. Tag unhappy customers with a specific colour so that your employees know immediately that they should be particularly attentive at the next appointment.

It may seem like a lot of work dealing with unhappy customers, but remember how difficult it can be to attract new customers. Maintain your existing contacts and transform them with the help of TIMIFY into loyal customers who are happy to return and even promote your business.

If you have any questions about the individual steps or about the various offers from TIMIFY, visit our website and chat with our team.


About the author


TIMIFY is a global leader in scheduling and resource management software-as-a-service (Saas). It is known for its sophisticated, secure, and customisable enterprise-focused technology.