No matter what industry you’re in or how fantastic your services are, it’s practically inevitable for every business to run into a customer complaint. Whether it’s the result of an error on your side of the process or a particularly picky customer, there are certain dos and don’ts that every business owner and customer service representative should know. The question is, however, are you prepared to handle a customer complaint?
What do you brush off and what do you take to heart?
You should always listen to what your customers say regardless of if you think the complaint is warranted. When listening to customer complaints, avoid getting defensive or interrupting them to make a counterpoint. Once they have said their piece and you have all of the necessary information, you can start sorting through information that is valuable and information that you can let go. One of the most important reasons why we listen to customer complaints is to better understand what our customers want and find ways to improve the business, but the trick is knowing which complaints are ones that you should be taking to heart.
Customer complaints may be valid, but their proposed solutions might not be and you can’t expect that every customer will be 100% satisfied with what you offer. To explain this better, let’s construct a hypothetical scenario: you own a balloon stand and a customer is complaining that the balloons he buys keep floating away. He demands that you make the balloons heavier to stop them floating away. As you are probably aware, it is not possible to make the balloons heavier without turning them into a completely different product. So, what you need to do in order to find an appropriate solution is move past the customer’s demands and focus on the complaint, which is that the balloons keep floating away. With this in mind, you can now find a solution that puts an end to the customer complaint but doesn’t spoil your product, like attaching a weight to the tails of the balloons. If customers have a valid complaint, you should always keep it in mind, even if you later decide that it isn’t a problem that needs addressing.
How fast is your response time?
For the customer, the only thing worse than having to make a complaint is having to wait for a response. Customer complaints need to be dealt with and diffused quickly and the longer you make them wait, the more problematic the situation can become. If you put yourself in their shoes, you can find out for yourself how frustrating it can be to be kept on hold or passed from person to person just to get a simple complaint addressed. That’s why you need to be ready to jump into action as soon as a complaint comes in.
No matter which means your customers use to contact you, your customer service team need to be at the ready and prepared to respond. This means that they need to be manning computers and phones and checking social media regularly in case any messages come in. To avoid having to switch channels all the time to find incoming complaints, you can create an email address specifically for customer complaints, allocate a phone line specifically for complaints, or include a complaint form on your business’s website. This way you will know which calls and messages need to be prioritised and the right people on your team will be the ones to deal with them rather than the inexperienced newbies that are still finding their customer service legs.
There is so much more that you need to know about dealing with customer complaints properly if you want to perfect your customer service. So, if you and your customer service team would like to be prepared for customer complaints, consider enrolling in a customer service course today. With the right skillset and strategies at hand, you will be more than capable of keeping your customers happy and keeping your business afloat.