by Sean McPheat
No matter how good your sales process is or the quality of your products, there will inevitably come a time when you have to deal with a customer complaint.
This could happen for many, many reasons. The standards that people expect today from business has exponentially grown over the years and if you don’t keep up with those requirements, you may find yourself receiving more and more complaints.
Make sure you know how to handle complaints in the right way with our Complaint Handling Training.
Here is a step-by-step guide for dealing with a complaining customer:
If you receive a complaint, take a moment’s time-out
Even if you are criticized or blamed for something, it’s never worthwhile being driven by an emotional response. You need to give yourself a moment or two to appreciate the reasons why this particular complaint has been brought to your attention.
Analyze the big picture first
Try to listen to the big picture, which means finding out not just the incidental details but the essence of the meaning behind the complaint.
Understand exactly what’s being said
It’s not easy but try not to be too defensive particularly if you don’t think you have made a mistake.
But try to put yourself into the shoes of the customer and see it from their perspective.
Try to take personal responsibility for the issue at hand
It may be not your fault, but you don’t want to make the customer feel but they are causing you an issue. You need to confirm back to them your understanding of the issue and make sure that is clear in the customer’s mind
When you’ve done this, you can now start to find a solution for the issue
It’s always polite and good business ethos to offer an apology even if you weren’t at fault. Sometimes it may well be that the apologies enough to placate an angry customer
DO NOT make excuses
Instead, explain briefly why this may have happened. The customer doesn’t want to hear excuses like poor delivery service from your suppliers or bad weather or Brexit or anything like that
Think about what kind of compensation might be due to this customer
Trying to remain calm even if the customer is confrontational
You are trying to turn this issue into something which can be solved and you getting irate is not going to help matters
Attempt to resolve this as quickly as possible
You want the customer to feel that they are getting your complete attention and speed of response is one of the areas that they will be looking for here
Deal with a complaint in the best way possible especially in the customer’s eyes
By putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, you will see first of all what they actually require even if this includes recompense, and also what you can do to turn the whole situation around
What you want to end up with is a customer who has the complaint dealt with and has been given the opportunity to still remain loyal to you. What is not possible is to always prevent complaints; you’re handling of them though, makes it possible to turn a negative situation into a more positive one more frequently.
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