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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