How well (or not-so-well) your business handles a customer complaint can make or break your success, as well as your company’s reputation.
The truth is, even if a customer is legitimately unsatisfied with your product or service, how you handle their complaint could make the difference in whether they continue to be your customer.
Unsatisfied clients tend to share their negative experiences not only to friends, but to the entire world of social media. Your company’s reputation is potentially one mouse click away from a problem when you fail to resolve lingering issues.
Obviously, receiving complaints are an inevitable part of doing business. But by understanding how to properly resolve customer complaints, it’s still possible to turn negative experiences into positive ones.
- Listen to and Empathize With Your Customer: Most of the time, people simply want to be heard. Don’t talk over them, argue or make excuses. Typically, once they feel they’ve been heard, their emotions start to subside. Genuinely acknowledging and listening to what your customer is saying is the first (and most important) step in successfully resolving a complaint.
- Repeat Your Customer’s Complaint Back to Them: When resolving an escalated complaint, respectfully repeating their complaint back to them can let the customer know that you were listening to them, and understood their main points of frustration.
- Make the Extra Effort to Resolve Their Complaint: Going the extra mile to find a solution for your customer should always be done wherever possible (within company boundaries, of course). This may require getting a manager involved, or offering a special promotion or discount.
- Don’t Say There’s Nothing You Can Do: The last thing a customer wants to hear when they’re frustrated or upset is that there’s nothing you can do for them. And sometimes, that may be the case. But this is where going the extra mile comes in. Even if you’re not able to do something for them in that moment, the simple gesture of passing them along to a manager can help encourage a better resolution.
- Make Sure Your Customer Does Not Leave Unhappy: When resolving a customer concern, it’s important to ensure you’ve taken every measure possible to prevent them from leaving unhappy. Even if you encounter a complicated situation that can’t be resolved on the spot, it’s better to take down your customer’s information, speak with your team members and follow up with the patron the next day.