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7 Tips for Managing Customer Complaints

No matter how good you are, when selling either a service or a product, you are bound to get hit with some complaints. Managing customer complaints intelligently, efficiently, promptly, and pleasantly can turn a possible catastrophe into a solidly loyal customer.

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Managing customer complaints intelligently, efficiently, promptly, and pleasantly can turn a negative into a positive outcome.
We all make mistakes, and things go wrong.

Products break, services fail, and customers understand there’s a chance they may end up with a broken product or poor service. What worries them is not that something’s gone wrong but that they may experience poor customer service and not the outcome they need.

With your customer service team – their top priority is ‘getting it right’ i.e., aiming for a satisfactory resolution of customer complaints and queries. Here are a few tips to help you improve your customer service.

Prioritize Customer Service

Invest in the best customer service you can afford.

Create a customer service offering that is supreme. Use the best software and systems and hire top-performing experienced staff.

Spending more on marketing and sales only to have customers buy from your business just the one time due to poor customer service is a false economy. Get your customer service group operating at the top of their game, and your business will see its sales grow from customer retention.

Your team can also follow these tips to give all customers an unforgettable service experience.

  • Never take it personally when a customer yells at you for something you both know is not your fault. He is frustrated, disappointed, and angry. If you don’t take it personally, you can control your own attitude, and that will ease the situation.
  • Don’t ignore complaints, even when they are indirect and non-confrontational. When there is a basis to them, it shows you a flaw in your business, shipping, or product that you may have been unaware of. When this is the case, acknowledge such to your customer.
  • Keep track of complaints and review them regularly. A standard form is a good idea, and everything that happens, including follow-up, should be written down and dated.
  • Deal the same way with phone complaints, emails, letters, and face-to-face confrontations. They are all important clues to how your business is doing.
  • If a customer receives a not working product, you will make him much happier if he can bring it right to you and exchange it. If a new one has to be ordered, then place the order immediately, and don’t wait for him to ship it back. You will have made a friend when he gets it back just days after he has returned it!
  • Always try to offer something to a dissatisfied customer (if there is any basis for his complaint). Refunds, a discount on a different model, getting it fixed, or replacing it, will renew his trust in your business.
  • When nothing you do calms your customer, ask him what he would do in your shoes. Does he have a better solution? Then explain why that would/would not be feasible or modify it to a point where both you and he feel it is fair. Thanking him for his input will make him feel important, and you will win kudos.

Remember, it’s the getting right that counts. Customer loyalty and brand reputation are made and broken by poor service.

When a business cannot keep its customers, competitors win them over.

We know customers may not always be correct, but they are always entitled to courteous treatment, whether asking a question, asking for a replacement or refund, or dealing with a complaint.