Those who deal with the public know that no one likes to hear complaints from unhappy customers. Rather, entrepreneurs take a lot of care to avoid them. But, what can we do, mistakes happen, and negative criticism of a customer might be very useful to correct these flaws. If the claim is listened in a constructive manner, it can bring improvements in service and customer loyalty. Some tips can help transform the dissatisfaction of the buyer in a positive result for the company.
When the costumer does not like a service, they usually do not complain directly to the company, but exposes the displeasure to family and neighbors. Thus, if anyone bothers to make a formal complaint, this person certainly expects an answer. If the client feel ignored, it will probably look for another company, and you will lose the opportunity to correct a possible failure in service or product.
It is important to give the consumer an opportunity to vent and be heard. Try not to be justified before the customer has time to speak your mind and realize that you are interested in solving the problem. Understand clearly what upset the customer is essential to reach a solution that is positive for both sides.
It is not necessary agree with everything that has been exposed by an unsatisfied customer, but it is very important to accept and validate customer dissatisfaction. Phrases like “We understand how you feel,” or “That must have really upset you” may be good choices for this cause empathy. Never blame a single employee or specific department for the problem. Try to talk in the name of the whole company and avoid defensive language.
Some customers will lose control, but it is essential that you keep yours. For this you need to distance yourself emotionally and not face the complaint as a personal offense. Another tip is to put yourself in the position of the client. And remember: resist the urge to raise your voice, or return an e-mail with a rude sarcastic message.
Fix the Problem
When a customer complains, it usually is not interested in the cause of the problem, but what he really hopes is that something is done to resolve the issue. Once you understand what kind of providence the customer expects and evaluate the pros and cons of different options, suggest a solution to put it into practice. Sometimes a small gesture, such as offering a future discount or a gift, you can regain consumer confidence.
Make a “Follow-up”
If you answered with a customer complaint e-mail, and got no response, resend the message or try to find out if it worked. It is important to evaluate the results of responses and solutions that are given to see if they work.