Good news—you received a payment from a customer or client. The bad news is, they’re now asking for a refund. Refunding requests can be disheartening, but they can happen from time to time. Don’t go into a panic or ignore the request when you get one. Here’s how to handle refund requests tactfully:

Take a breather

The request for a refund could come with an explanation that’s not very nice. Perhaps they’re speaking negatively about you, your product or your service. Don’t respond out of anger or frustration right away. Take some time to carefully consider their request before writing a non-confrontational reply. A nasty email from a customer isn’t something you should take personally and you don’t want emotions to cloud your judgment.

Ask questions

A refund request is an opportunity to get feedback about your business operation. If their reason for a refund is vague, ask some questions. Why do they want a refund? What did they hope to experience from your product? Why isn’t your product delivering on their expectations?

Don’t assume the reason why they want their money back. There could have been a misunderstanding about the product or service. Ask follow up questions and focus on how you can possibly improve to satisfy future customers.

Offer an alternative

After asking a few questions, you should have a better understanding of the customers wants and needs. From this point, you may be able to offer another solution besides a refund so you can keep your money.

If you offered a service, perhaps you could make adjustments to what you delivered. If you offered a product, you could follow up with detailed instructions on how to use it. This approach is mutually beneficial. You get to keep the payment and the customer gets their problem solved.

Don’t give customers an unnecessary runaround

Returning items to stores can be so aggravating at times that instead of returning the item you just keep it and resolve never to shop at the store again. You don’t want customers or clients to feel this way about your business. They shouldn’t have to jump through a million hoops to get their money back.

Sure, there are some people who request money back to take advantage of businesses. These are the people that strict return policy procedures are usually created for. But there are others who bought in good faith and realize the product isn’t what they need. These people shouldn’t be penalized or given the runaround when trying to return something. A bad return experience could put a bad taste in their mouth making them less willing to work with you in the future.

Final Word

A request for a refund can turn a good day into a bad one. If you handle refund requests tactfully, the experience doesn’t have to be a fully negative one. Review your refund policy every so often to make sure you’re always comfortable with the terms. Respond to refund requests promptly and attack them with a problem solving mindset. If you do come to an agreement that the person will get a refund, process the refund quickly so the matter can be resolved.