Dealing with customer complaints is an art form within itself. You would be lying to yourself if you said that “my business doesn’t receive complaints,” every business receives complaints no matter how large or small. It’s the way that your business deals with the complaints that come through as the key to a successful business and keeping customers coming back.
If you are able to handle complaints well, you have been able to calm the customer on your own and, also, bring them around from dissatisfied to satisfied and happy. However, if dealt with badly, the customer will be more unhappy and dissatisfied and is more likely to spread word of mouth in regard to the bad service that was provided. Word of mouth is some of the worst publicity for a business, as a word of mouth can spread quickly and is hard to revoke, altering your reputation – leading to the loss of potential customers.
Key points in dealing with customer complaints are as follows:
- Listen carefully, do not interrupt and, if possible, try and take notes to ensure the issue is resolved
- Show compassion and that you understand
- Seek a solution to the complaint, do not disregard the complaint as more customers can feel the same way, even if they have not come forward
It is important when a customer is making a complaint that you do not insult them, raise your voice or argue with the customer. Ensure that you are patient and, if you do not know how to deal with the complaint, ask a manager or colleague to assist you. Do not take complaints or insults personally. Take your time and observe how your managers and colleagues deal with customer complaints and learn from them, take in what and how they are dealing with the situation. Nevertheless, patience is the key to any complaint; customers simply want someone to take the time to listen to them and their issue. So listen and take in what they are saying.