Keep calm and carry on!
Customers. It doesn’t matter whether we like them or not, they exist. They are our bread and butter and we have to take the rough with the smooth.
Ok, so the saying goes that the customer is always right.
Of course, we know that’s not strictly true. (Believe me, over the years in different jobs there have been several I could quite happily swing for). But as business professionals, you have to suck it up.
Obviously, times do arise when customers complain.
And even if the consumer is being a complete arse or is simply in the wrong, customer feedback management teams have to deal with all comments and negativity in an equal fashion.
Let’s face it… there probably isn’t a company out there that hasn’t received a complaint at some time.
And we know it’s imperative to deal with them in a timely fashion, along with a great deal of tact.
If an end-user complaint gets ignored, it can wreak havoc on a brands reputation.
So, yes, you have to help.
But what if you’re not some big corporate organisation with a dedicated consumer feedback team on hand at all times of day?
How do you handle customer complaints to ensure you are still delivering first class customer service?
Act timely – and listen
End-users – particularly the disgruntled ones – want answers. And they want them NOW.
You need to listen, understand and offer a fast-resolution to whatever it is that has made them spit their dummy out.
It’s also imperative to follow up to make sure the customer is truly pleased with the outcome.
Care and attention are so very important. They can really make the difference as to how your business is perceived.
As I said earlier, we know the customer is always right. And even if they are not, your business is in the firing line. So, you need to apologise, even if you aren’t quite sure where the responsibility lies.
Even if the customer has made a mistake, don’t get defensive. Swallow your pride, take ownership of the situation and ask what you can do to set things right.
Do your research
Sometimes, you get one tale from the end-user and another from the staff member that’s in the firing line.
In situations like this, make sure you have all the facts together and talk to all parties involved before taking any action.
Don’t be afraid to ask all those involved, including the customer, for specific details of what happened and what the issue was.
Having all the facts at hand will help you fix any problems more effectively.
Give the customer the benefit of the doubt
Perhaps your customer has been asking for freebies. Or saying they were short changed, either on products/services or even literally.
Yes, it’s a fine line between hurting sales and keeping your consumers happy but sometimes it’s better to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Sometimes the complainers that you appease can become one of your most valuable customers.
And even if they are wrong….
Let the customer feel as though they are right! At least kind of, anyway.
Even if you customer has made a mistake, it’s worth appeasing them and doing whatever you can to rectify the situation.
Communication is key
Make sure your customers know what’s what. Technology and automation don’t always make customers happy. And very few people read the small print!
So, if a customer purchases from you, make sure they know exactly what’s what, especially where payments and money are involved. It will help prevent complaints further down the line.
And if they do complain… make sure you communicate well to rectify any issues!
Be level headed
Your business should make customer service a top priority.
If you can’t solve a problem to appease the end user, escalate the issue to someone that can.
And through it all, breathe deeply, keep calm and carry on!
Keeping your consumers happy and resolving their complaints will help your business prosper in the long run. And keep your customers coming back time and again!