Part of running a business means having to deal with unhappy customers from time to time. It is simply part of the territory that you may displease people here and there. Since no two people’s experiences are the same despite your very best efforts, you shouldn’t take it personally when a customer has some feedback to give.
While some customer complaints are more outrageous than others, it’s important to take the right steps in order to fix the situation with the least amount of complication possible. It doesn’t matter what line of work you are in. Whether you are working in property management or selling ice cream, an unhappy customer is still an unhappy customer. When you are faced with one, here are the steps that you should take.
Identify With Their Point Of View
The first thing that you should do is try to see things from the customer’s perspective. When you are able to see things from their point of view you can have better compassion and understanding which will come across in your communication.
Try to understand how it would feel if you were in their shoes and how you would react if you saw things in the same light. Even though you may not agree, you don’t have to agree to have compassion and understanding.
Let Them Speak
It can be a common habit when you’re in customer service to wanting to lead the conversation. Since you’re used to welcoming and advising customers you’re accustomed to being in charge of the dialogue. However, when it comes to someone being unhappy, it’s important to let them take the wheel for a while until they get their point and idea across. This way they will feel acknowledged and understood.
At the end of the day, the reason they are complaining is simply to be understood. Once you acknowledge their issues then you will be able to start moving forward in finding a resolution.
Summarize Their Complaint
The concept of active listening means not just letting them speak, but repeating back to them what they have just said. When you summarize their issues back to them then you are showing them that you have not only just let them speak, but you completely understood and retained the information.
Offer a Solution
Listening and acknowledging their concerns aren’t enough to reach a resolution. You must have a solution to offer as the customer service representative. Once you are able to offer a solution that you both agree on then you can have closure on the complaint and hopefully, they walk away willing to give you their business again.
A return customer is worth much more to you than giving away something at a discounted price or reimbursing something once in order to make them happy after a complaint.