Let’s see how to best deal with customer complaints without losing business and credibility.
Your customers are your biggest asset, but also your biggest area of concern. If you’re not giving them what they want, they can take their business elsewhere.
This means you’re doing a fine a balancing act of keeping customers happy and dealing with any issues before they become big problems.
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. – Bill Gates
It’s important to see your customers as human, even if your company is big and you aren’t dealing with them face to face.
It’s easy to see rows of data on a spreadsheet or your database, but if you lose touch with them, it can be bad news.
No one really likes dealing with complaints and it’s easy to sweep it under the rug and hope it goes away.
If a customer complains it can be for a number of reasons, the key one being they actually care about the service or product. They may feel that standards have slipped, or something wasn’t communicated properly.
The important thing is how you deal with these kinds of complaints, whether online or offline.
1. Have A Plan For All Platforms
It’s easy to treat your online complaints differently to your offline complaints, but this can actually give a less than human approach. Online complaints seem disconnected, however, you should treat online complaints in the same way as offline complaints.
Regardless of the medium, think of how you would instinctively handle a complaint if you were speaking to the person’s face to face, or over the phone.
Knowing what you would do in advance can help turn unhappy customers into happy customers.
Important: Remember that most online reviews on Google+, Facebook, Australian directories and forums show up on Google search.
Most likely than not on the first page when a potential customer searches your brand name. Make sure that all the reviews have been attended to politely.
Try stirring the conversation outside that platform in a more private setting like emails.
Simply leave a comment like:
Thanks for your feedback. We would like to fix/ sort this out for you. Kindly email your details to email@example.com
This should be a part of your reputation management strategy across all platforms and channels.
2. Don’t Ignore Complaints
You don’t have to respond straight away to complaints, but not responding to them for hours or even weeks won’t leave you with happy customers.
Leaving complaints too long means the complaint may escalate beyond the original problem.
Aim to deal with the concern as soon as you are aware of it, and can form a level-headed response with the right facts.
It’s good to acknowledge the complaint and tell the customer a time and date you will respond to their complaint.
3. Know Your Facts
Before you confront the customer you need to establish all of the facts.
Read up on any emails or gather what information you can from colleagues. Try to see if the customer has a point to their complaint before you decide if they are in the wrong.
4. Maintain Your Professionalism
As a customer facing professional, you need to be just that, professional. It’s vital that when you talk to upset customers, you keep your cool. Be polite, but don’t accept that you are at fault right away (depending what facts you have established earlier).
5. Take Bad Reviews In Your Stride
Bad reviews are difficult to deal with at first, however, they are feedback that could improve your products or services.
On the other hand, don’t let these reviews get you down. It’s nothing personal against you, the customer is upset for a valid reason.
There are those kinds of customers who love to complain, so you do need to have means of dealing with them. It is most likely you can’t keep them happy even with discounts and full refunds.
Some customers are looking for something to be unhappy about, and your product or service just happened to be the one thing that has their focus.
Hope you got a few tricks up your sleeve on tackling customer complains. Do leave us a comment, if you have tried any other strategy or faced an extreme situation.