How to Deal with Customer Complaints
When running a business, getting complaints is inevitable. You may not like them or agree with them, but they have to be acknowledged and dealt with efficiently and effectively. Ignoring or dismissing complaints is an easy way to make the customers feel neglected or that you don’t value their opinions.
Taking the complaint
It’s always good to take a step back when a customer makes a complaint. Trying to solve an issue when you’re full of emotions can potentially anger the customer even further. Try to respond when all emotions have reduced and you’re feeling calmer.
Be sure to give the customer your full attention and listen to their whole problem. You need to know what they’re having problems with so you can fix it for them. If you appear disinterested or it’s obvious you don’t know all the issues they’re having, it will only worsen the problem.
Try to put yourself into their shoes and understand how they’re feeling. If you were receiving this problem, would you be satisfied? Putting your own perspective on it shows you how they must be feeling. This will help you figure out how to solve the issue in the best way.
Always use your initiative. Sometimes, you may need to find ways to defuse tension. This may simply be through removing the presence of staff that the blame lies with from the customer. Doing this will essentially remove all tension formed from the problem.
You should immediately apologise. Even if you’re not at fault at all, you need to take responsibility if you’re dealing with the issue and apologise for the inconvenience caused. An apology is one simple way of slowly starting to reduce the problem and calm an angry customer.
You are entitled to explain why they didn’t receive the standard of service they wanted. Customers don’t want to hear excuses but this reason should be sincere and truthful. This reason should come after you’ve made your apology and truly understand the issue the customer has.
A complaint can sometimes be followed by compensation. This compensation typically comes in the form of a refund or a voucher. One way of making customers feeling valued and involved with the situation and solution is asking the customer for their desired outcome.
Always try to remain calm when dealing with a complaint. Your overall aim is to turn their negative experience into a positive experience. Arguing back or showing a passive aggressive side to you will only make the situation worse and could essentially affect the businesses reputation.
The complaints you’re dealing with should always be resolved as quickly as possible, but not rushed enough to make the customer feel they’re being rushed. Make the customer simply feel as though they are a priority to you.
Keep records of complaints that have been made. Assessing these records will help you identify a common complaint or issue. This common complaint or issue can then be dealt with to improve overall experience.
All staff members that are going to be facing customers need to be trained on how to deal with complaints. It’s best to have everyone with the ability to deal with complaints than to always have to pass onto higher members of staff.
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