Negative feedback and complaints are inevitable in business. And, the best thing that you can do is have a strategy to be able to handle these complaints in an effective manner for both yourself and for your customer.
Here are four ways that you can handle customer complaints a lot better.
The first step is to listen carefully and identify the problem.
So, what you want to do is you want to listen to what the problem is from the customer. Don’t butt in, don’t try and make any excuses.
Listen intently to what the problem is and acknowledge with the customer what their concern is, and respond to them with empathy.
And, you want to make sure, at the same time, that you’re taking notes and recording down what this complaint is that the customer is having.
That’s the first step.
The second step is to genuinely apologise on behalf of your business for the error or the complaint. Accept responsibility for either yourself or your staff. As a business leader, you are responsible for anything that your staff does.
And, at the same time, thank the customer for bringing the matter to your attention because if they didn’t come and complain, you wouldn’t know what was going on with your staff and also how your customers are receiving the service that’s being delivered by your business.
So, genuinely apologise, and then, number two, thank them for bringing this matter to your attention.
The third thing that you want to do is, then, provide a solution to the problem. So, after listening intently to the customer, and then, accepting responsibility and thanking them, work out a solution to that problem for the customer.
You might ask them:
- What do you think is the best way forward from here onwards?
- How would you like this problem to be resolved?
So, you could ask them that. It doesn’t mean that that’s what you’re going to do, but you can ask them that. And then, you can work through solving that
problem together with the customer.
A couple of things that you could try, and again, depending on the situation, is you might offer them some sort of consolation as a gift, a voucher, or a discount on any further orders that they may place or products that they may purchase from you—so, providing a solution to the customer.
And then, the fourth, once you’ve done the first three steps and you’ve offered a solution and the customer’s gone away, after a couple of days, follow up with the customer. Check in with them. Find out if they are satisfied with the way that the complaint was resolved.
Is there anything else that you can help them with?
If the complaint is still in that process of being resolved, find out from them what else needs to be done.
So, there are quite a few things that you can do to definitely handle complaints with customers. And then, very lastly, the final step that you want to do here is start to document that and set up a process and a procedure for handling any future problems and complaints that you have with your customers.