Dealing with customer complaints is an art form within itself. You would be lying if you said that your business doesn’t receive complaints. Every business receives complaints – no matter how large or small. The way that your business deals with the complaints is the key to a successful business and keeping customers coming back time and time again.
If you are able to handle complaints well, you will be able to calm the customer on your own, resolve the issue, and bring them around from dissatisfied to satisfied and happy. However, if dealt with badly, the customer will become even more unhappy and dissatisfied. This type of customer is more likely to spread by word of mouth their experience and bad service that was provided. Negative 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. Positive word of mouth is spread equally as fast and this is, of course, the type of message that you actually want to be spread!
The key to this is to turn a negative customer experience into a positive.
Some tips for dealing with customer complaints are as follows:
- Apologise, even though sometimes you don’t want to.
- Listen carefully, do not interrupt and, if possible, try and take notes to ensure the issue is resolved
- Show compassion and that you understand
- Do not stand over them, come down to their level and use gestures that show you are compassionate and are trying to understand their issue
- 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 they are doing 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.
Staff who are well trained are far less likely to receive a complaint and will be in a better position to deal with any complaints effectively. If you want to learn more about customer service and how to deal with customers, contact us on (07) 3878 8977 and start a Certificate III in Hospitality or even a Diploma of Hospitality today. These qualifications will give you and your staff the skills needed to be a customer service superstar and have customers returning time and time again. Customer service is the key to a successful business, people want to feel valued. Invest in customer service training.