You can’t avoid customer complaints. No matter how hard you try, you can’t please everyone and that means you are bound to come across a customer complaint. While your customers may use harsh language or make a horrible complaint, that doesn’t always mean something is wrong with your business model.
Great feedback can get lost in the midst of complaints, so it’s important to keep a good perspective. Take bad feedback and turn it into an opportunity to go above and beyond for a customer that will want to remain loyal for years. Make it a learning opportunity for your staff, and remember that its only one complaint out of several happy customers. Here are some tips on handling customer complaints and using them as opportunities to better your company.
Dealing with Customer Complaints
It’s important to keep in mind that 9 times out of 10, a customer is going to stay loyal to you after a mistake occurs as long as you completely heal the situation the first time. Try to look past the behavior of your angry customer and consider the actual complaint over the behavior, tone of voice or body language.
You need to get to the bottom of the problem and be a good listener for your customer, because half of the battle is making sure your customer feels heard and understood. Consider if the issue is something that your business is failing with or if it’s something that this particular customer just isn’t benefiting from. Don’t write off the complaint as a cranky or sensitive customer, but consider the feedback as genuine.
Keep Track of Positive Feedback
When you do get positive feedback, you need to organize it and record it. You need to be able to put together a system to see what people love about your product or service verses what the patterns are in dislikes. A frequent request needs to be turned into a new product or service, and regular negative feedback on an aspect of your business may mean that you have something that needs to be adjusted. On the other hand, don’t assume that customers are always right; some people are always looking for free stuff.
What Type of Customer are you Dealing With?
Are you getting the complaint from an aggressive personality, a meek person or a chronic complainer? You could be dealing with a well-off customer that wants premium service, or it could be a customer that is never happy and feels ripped-off.
Maintain composure, be patient and stay objective when dealing with these various personalities. Keep your high roller customers in a separate folder so that staff knows how to handle their needs. Be sure to keep a firm politeness with your aggressive customers. With your meek customer, try to dig a little to find out exactly what is wrong and what they need.
Apologize, Act Fast and Ask Questions
Sometimes your customer just needs to hear an apology even when they are being unreasonable. It’s a way to keep things professional and friendly. Be sure to handle the problem quickly. Transfer them to the person that needs to help them and don’t hesitate. Try to ask supportive questioning when trying to learn about the problem. even if it’s as simple as “How else can I help you today?” Be sure to confirm your customer is all set before hanging up the phone or moving on to another customer. You don’t want to run into a customer that feels like you never finished resolving their issue.
Treat all of your customers with respect, take their honest feedback and remember that you can’t always win. Expect a loss at times where a customer wants to close their account with you, and remember that you did everything you could.