6 Reasons Why Handling Customer Complaints are Important
In the last podcast I talked about the 5 most common types of complaining customers and how to handle them. In this podcast we will look why it is important to handle customer complaints.
My next thought I have alluded to before in past podcasts and it does merit another mention but this time I will quote Myers Barnes who said “Treat every customer as if they have 10,000 Twitter followers.”
So what did he mean by this? Let’s look at 6 reasons why we should consider this quote important.
- Every customer has to be given credibility and should be treated as if they have a large social media following.
Every once in a while you will come across a “rip off” customers who will never be contented enough to not find fault. It is good business judgment not to give them a lot of your time, but as painful as it may seem, you should keep in mind that every customer you interact with may have a huge audience at their fingertips.
This will safeguard your business from many potentially disastrous mishaps.
Handling problems with this type of customer professionally could save you lots of headaches down the road and a possible loss of revenue.
- Customer complaints contain insight.
Customer feedback is great at telling you what you did wrong but it will never tell you what you should do next. So don’t take every complaint as a negative but instead look at them as tools for you and your team to find ways for you to improve.
I have a friend who owns a restaurant, a restaurant with well trained staff, excellent food and a wonderful atmosphere. I used this restaurant many times for group meals when travelling in Canada. My groups loved the place, never complained about anything. One day the owner came to me to ask my groups if they had any issues and if they did he wanted to know … he wanted to know any complaint, no matter how small. He said “How can we improve if I don’t know what’s wrong.”
It’s important to use any negative feedback as a way to move your team in the right direction.
- Record and Organize Meaningful Complaints
If one customer tells you they want things for free or thinks everything you offer is too expensive or that your services are lacking, you should take this sort of feedback with a grain of.
However, if multiple customers are telling you the same thing you may have a serious problem on your hands.
Document all complains and refer to them frequently to see if there is a trend developing.
- Don’t be Passive-Aggressive
Have you ever had a problem with a company and one of their representatives said to you “We’re sorry that you are having this problem.” How did it make you feel? In most cases it can be very infuriating. Think of this the next time you or one of your staff say that to a customer.
Most small business owners use this sort of language by mistake. Instead of coming off as an apology, it sounds to the customer demeaning or dismissive.
Just say you’re sorry. Even if the customer is being unreasonable, apologize outright and ask them how you might help resolve the issue. If you are dealing with a rip off customer, you can apologies and then move on.
- When handling complaints on the phone and placing someone on hold, use these hard and fast rules
- Wait for a pause in the conversation to tell them you are going to put them on hold and then explain the reason.
- Make sure you return to their call in no more than a minute
- Apologize for the inconvenience or thank the caller for holding
- Take the person’s phone number and call them back if you know they will be on hold for more than 1 minute or you need to put them on hold a second time (don’t make them call you back).
- Add a personal connection to the caller by using their name frequently.
- Don’t be rude no matter how mad a customer may be.
- Use Supportive Questioning
Never ask a customer who just complained a negative question. This will just lead to more disapproval. For example: Is there anything else wrong?
Instead use supportive questions such as: “How else can I help you today?”
There is a fine line between simply following up after handling a complaint and inviting customers to complain even more.
That’s a look at 6 things to remember when handling customer complaints. In the next video we will look at a few more tips
“With businesses, you go to the same places because you like the service, you like the people and they take care of you. They greet you with a smile. That’s how people want to be treated, with respect. That’s what I tell my employees… customer service is very important.”
If you have any interesting stories about handling customers complaints or have some techniques of your own you would like to share or have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section of the show notes.
A pdf of each episode can also be found in the show notes at our website.
Let’s continue to work together to put heads in your beds.
Until next time, have a fun day.
Get Your Free