Companies of all sizes frequently fail to handle customer complaints appropriately. In the digital era, where complaints can be seen by hundreds, thousands or go viral to millions, it is essential that customer complaints, especially serious ones or ones backed by considerable emotion, are treated seriously and dealt with in a timely manner.
If you are failing to provide good customer service, this should be corrected. After all, offering decent customer service is neither costly nor overly complicated. At its core, good customer service can be reduced down to this: listening to the customer, letting the customer know that their complaint has been acknowledged and catalogued, and working to remedy the situation.
A good positive attitude and staying calm when dealing with irritated or dissatisfied customers can go a long way towards keeping a customer happy and preventing them from spreading negative feedback in a public forum. Let’s look at five tips for effectively dealing with customer complaints.
Tip #1 – Take a Proactive Stance
A good attitude and a proactive stance can go a very long way towards calming an unhappy or angry customer. A disappointed customer wants to know that they are being heard and that steps are being taken to remedy their situation. Clearly communicating that you are working to fix the situation and doing so in a positive manner will satisfy most negative customer scenarios.
Tip #2 – Act Quickly to Fix the Problem
Once a customer is calm and is feeling a little better about your company, your next step is to fix the problem. When you promise to address a problem, you must follow through or risk damaging your company’s reputation. Failing to follow up on that promise could backfire and leave customers feeling that they were manipulated.
Tip #3 – Always Stay Calm
If a customer writes an email or posts a negative review online, then they are obviously very unhappy. But if a customer is angry enough to pick up the phone and call, you can be fairly certain that the customer is extremely upset. Don’t be surprised if this anger boils over on the phone call. That’s why your customer service people need to be ready to deal with that anger in a calm and collected manner. Customer service team members or salespeople should never match the anger of a customer. Instead, they should focus on demonstrating that they are committed to fixing the problem. It will benefit you to invest in employee training so that employees are ready to deal with angry or disappointed customers.
Tip #4 – Look for Customer Dissatisfaction Problem Patterns
If the same complaints and issues come up again and again, there’s a larger problem you must address. Don’t dismiss multiple customer complaints from different customers as a “headache.” Instead, view it as an opportunity to improve your goods and/or services. Once you have detected a negative customer service pattern, be sure that you and your team move quickly to remedy the problem. Your business will be stronger for doing so in the long run.
Tip #5 – Track Your Success
Never assume that you have successfully addressed customer service issues until customers have, in fact, verified that the situation is resolved. That’s why you should follow up with customers and ask for feedback via either questionnaires in the mail, email follow ups, or phone calls.
Customer complaints that are not appropriately addressed can fester and become larger problems. The time, effort, and money you invest in boosting the quality of your customer service team will yield significant positive results for the long-term.
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Financial literacy is the link between ‘money myths’ and proven ‘Money Smart’ facts that you can ‘bank on’ to make access to capital possible.
The SBA Georgia District Office in collaboration with SCORE Georgia is hosting a 7-part financial literacy series for small businesses. The seven courses are designed to help entrepreneurs understand the importance and preparation needed to strengthen and achieve their financial ‘smart’ goals. The series will cover topics including startup financing, cash flow, critical record keeping, exit strategies, and more. Take any combination of courses to help you take your business to the next level.
Financial Management will be covered in the next training course on Tuesday, May 4.
Financial Management May 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST
This module provides an overview of business financial management theory and terminology, and is designed to help you ‘understand how sound financial management can benefit your business. Closed captioning available in the following languages: Afrikaans (South African), Chinese, Creole Haiti, French, Korean, Spanish
To view the complete list of courses and to register, visit https://content.govdelivery.
Just as people will form judgments and ideas about you as a person based on first impressions, the same holds true for your company. It is always best to put your “best foot forward,” and this is true whether we’re talking about your personal life or your business. Periodically, every company should step back and evaluate its initial point of communication with customers and clients.
In today’s digitally interconnected world, it is critical that customers and clients feel as though they are not just being listened to but are being heard. Emails must be responded to promptly. This is true regardless of whether the email is from a customer requesting more information about your goods or services, or if it’s a message with a question or complaint. If your company is unresponsive, this fact can quickly spread on social media.
Of course, customers and clients still pick up their phones and make calls. While many people’s first impressions of your business are increasingly likely to be via your website, the phone call experience is still important. When callers reach your business, it is vital that they receive a professional and warm reception. Whether the point of contact is a live person or a message, the experience should be a trouble-free and low stress experience.
Far too many businesses overlook this variable, but you can be quite certain that not all of their competitors do. Your navigation system should be easy to navigate. If possible, there should be an option to talk to an operator so that callers don’t get lost within frustrating phone labyrinth filled with dead ends. Callers might not remember a positive phone experience, but you can bet that they will remember a stressful one.
When a team member greets a caller, the response should be pleasant and should include some version of “How may I help you?” Every operator should know company basics, such as your times of operation and the key names of your personnel. They should also demonstrate a willingness to help. Your team members should understand that their job depends on the success of the company and that they are on the frontlines of maintaining a positive business-customer relationship. Professionalism is a must, and team members should never lose sight of this fact.
Finally, your key management executives should invest the time to experience your company’s sphere of communication. What is it like to call your company and interact with team members? What improvements could be made?
In this very digital era, it is important to remember that there is still no replacement for human interaction. When a caller reaches out to your company for information or assistance, it is best to use technology judiciously. Try to opt for the human touch when possible. While the person answering the phones at your business might not be the highest paid person on your payroll, always remember that their job is an essential part of your company’s image.
The Corona Close: How to Prospect Effectively in Today’s New Market
Sales coach Dan Jourdan says now is a great time to be reaching out to prospective customers. Why? “Everybody is waiting for something to happen,” Jourdan of “Sales Arbiter” told attendees at the Sept. 15 virtual meeting of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers.
While getting referrals is always a great way to get new clients, Jourdan — or “The Deej” as he is known — said cold-calling prospects is also a good strategy. He encouraged entrepreneurs to prospect by using publicly available information about business owners, such as Reference USA, a business database available through public libraries.
Another tip, avoid contacting prospects with messages laden with words such as “I, we, us.” “Those three words literally repel your prospects,” he said. Instead, try “you, yours, y’all.”
The seven magic words for breaking the ice? “I wonder if you could help me?” Most people will respond to people seeking help. Another good ice-breaker: “I wonder if you could give me some advice?” Queries that criticize a potential clients business or web page are huge turn-offs.
One recent solicitation from a potential client included a video clip, which instantly puts a potential partner into the client’s office. “It’s like you met them without meeting them,” he said.
Videos and cold calling are great ways to prospect.
“If you make enough noise, you’ll get more referrals,” Jourdan said.
Jourdan is a salesman who has successfully started from scratch, built up, and sold five out of six of his own businesses. But he is not a businessman, he is a salesman. The one business that failed was when he tried to be a real human, instead of a salesman. With his current firm, “Sales Arbiter, ” Dan and his partner Crispin Cruz work with small businesses in town that want to have self-functioning, highly profitable sales organizations within their company in which the owner is not involved. This way business brokers can sell the companies for more money! His business philosophy is a cross between Confucius and Robin Williams. Dan lives in Georgia with his wife Sharon and two children Matthew and Sophie.
The Georgia Association of Business Brokers, or GABB, is the state’s premier organization devoted to buying and selling businesses and franchises, and operates the state’s only real estate school dedicated to business brokering. For more information about GABB, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call or text 404-374-3990, or contact GABB president Dean Burnette at email@example.com or (912) 247-3209.
The key to the success of many top-selling business brokers is developing clients through referrals.
Belinda Landers Jackson, a Professional Sales & Leadership Coach with Southwestern Consulting, spoke to the Georgia Association of Business Brokers on Sept. 1 about how to use LinkedIn to create what she called warm referrals.
Jackson said effectively using LinkedIn can help professionals connect to the people they need to meet to create business, and help each other close business deals faster.
“We’ve got to make it easy for people to refer us business,” Jackson said. She demonstrated how to create a list of job titles that one might target for networking, and how to pull a list of names from referral partners.
She suggested professionals pre-approach strategy in which you ask a prospective referral partner for a story on how they met, something they respect about the referral, some unique interest or funny story. “We call them golden nuggets,” or a warm way of creating an initial interaction. This warm introduction is much more effective than a going-for-the-jugular sales pitch because it puts people at ease.
GABB Board member Mike Ramatowski says developing clients through referrals can take a long time, but pays off. You should not ignore potential clients when you’re not doing business with them. “I recently closed a deal with someone that I had been working with for two years,” he said. Join GABB and find out how you can improve your referrals game.
Belinda sold and managed more than $1 Million in marketing budgets per year for multiple small- and medium-sized businesses. She also has extensive experience working with law firms, commercial and industrial products, home and home improvement businesses, and medical offices to increase awareness and market their business.
Southwestern Consulting is the professional sales training division of the oldest direct sales company in the US, The Southwestern Company.
The GABB is the state’s premier organization devoted to buying and selling businesses and franchises, and operates the state’s only real estate school dedicated to business brokering. For more information about GABB, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call or text 404-374-3990, or contact GABB president Dean Burnette at email@example.com or (912) 247-3209.