Customer Complaints

Basics of Customer Complaints
Customers complain for many reasons, ranging from poor products to late deliveries. Complaints should not surprise the business owner because you are dealing with all types of people who have different attitudes and moods. The key is how you deal with complaints effectively.

Always make sure that there is someone senior who attends to complaints and follow a complaints procedure outlined in the business operation manual. It’s a good idea to make it easy for your customers to complain and when they do, they shouldn’t feel that they are a problem to you.

Depending on how serious the complaint, offer a special discount or some other compensation to keep them satisfied. It may be hard to accept, but the saying, “the customer is always right” should be part of your business policy.

How to Handle Customer Complaints
A good strategy for handling customer complaints can include the following:

  • Apologise: Always apologise even if you feel the customer is wrong.
  • Empathise: Even if no one likes to receive a complaint, try and empathise with how the customer sees it.
  • Enquire: Find out exactly what the problem is and then take steps to remedy it.
  • Action: Don’t procrastinate. Once you have agreed on a solution to the problem – do it. Don’t let your customers go away unhappy.

10 Ways to Improve Customer Service
The following are 10 ways to improve your customer service:

  1. Find out from your customers how satisfied they are.
  2. Establish rewards for your staff so they provide good customer service.
  3. Continually train staff on ways to improve customer service.
  4. Remind staff that customer service is something everyone in the business has to be involved with because success will come through teamwork.
  5. Set an example for your staff in the way you handle customer service.
  6. Treat your customer’s right even if mistakes happen.
  7. Make a particular person responsible for customer service so there is always someone in charge of this area.
  8. Check out how your competitors treat their customers.
  9. Keep emphasising to your staff that the customer is always right.
  10. Everyone in your business should be continually encouraged to treat customers the way they would like to be treated.

Keep Listening to your Customers
Here are some simple tactics for effective listening:

  • Concentrate on what the customer is saying, rather than what you want to say.
  • Tune out from any other distractions and focus on your customer’s call.
  • Don’t interrupt. Let your customer talk.
  • Ask for clarification if an objection is vague.
  • Take notes if you need to remember the points that have been raised.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions.
  • Listen to the customer’s tone of voice and act accordingly.
  • Control your own emotions and maintain a courteous manner.
  • Always smile. They say that even when conversing on the telephone, a smile can be heard through the phone.