Co-Founder Image Spa MD.
While the goal in business is to make sure every customer or client you run into is exceedingly happy, we all know at some point or another, you’re bound to have an unhappy one. But, I believe there is always an opportunity to turn that individual into a satisfied client.
When faced with an unhappy client, my team and I turn to the OREOA method, an approach we created when working with unhappy clients at our medical spa. Pronounced “Oh-raya,” this is a simple and highly effective acronym that stands for object, repeat, empathy, offer and ask. It’s intended to remind one’s self to take important steps to turn a dissatisfied client around, and it’s applicable to any industry.
Here’s how to put the OREOA method into practice in your workplace:
Object: Identify why the client is upset.
The first step in turning an unhappy client into a happy one is to identify the objection in the situation. In the medical spa industry, we work with clients who are seeking very specific results, and we want to make sure we clearly understand the issue at hand.
To do this yourself, sit down with your client, whether this is a current client who is unhappy with you and your team or a new client coming to you to fix a problem caused by another provider in your industry. By sitting down and talking with the client, you can identify a clear objection together.
Repeat: Ensure you understand their point of view.
Once you’ve identified the problem, repeat the problem so the client feels heard and you can confirm that you’re all on the same page. I suggest using phrases such as:
• “So, what you’re saying is … ”
• “What I’m hearing is … ”
• “To be clear, you are unhappy with (X) because of (Y).”
Empathy: Show your client you care.
Showing empathy is key to improving any relationship when a customer is not satisfied. This is an opportunity to talk to the client person-to-person. Let them know you care about their happiness and well-being. Show emotion, and express how important you know this procedure or service is to their physical and mental well-being. By showing empathy, you will regain their trust and respect.
Offer: Suggest a solution.
Many people might refer to this step as extending an olive branch. This is your chance to make everything right. Maybe you are offering to redo a particular service, or maybe you’re inviting them back for an upgraded or complimentary service. Whatever you’ve decided, make it clear that you would like to offer a solution to the problem.
Ask: Request they remain a client.
Asking for their business moving forward can be the most difficult step in the process You need to be clear and let the client know that you value their business and trust and want them to return. This is a great opportunity to show gratitude when asking, “I would like to thank you for trusting us, and I ask that you continue to work with us in the future.”
I believe these simple steps are essential to running any business. When you are able to put these five steps into practice at your workplace, you will be able to turn an unhappy client into a satisfied one.