Sunday, 25 November 2012

Complaints - what do you do if you get one? Small busines Tip

Business Tip
If you're in business, you will have received a complaint.  If you haven't then that's not necessarily a good thing!

Complaints help you develop and if you've never received any it might mean that your customers are voting with their feet and walking away from you. Unfortunately, they say that if a customer's happy they will tell one other person, if they're unhappy, they'll tell 10 other people!  Not good if you don't even get the opportunity to resolve their complaint.

The UK is renouned for 'grumblers' who never do anything about their grumble, hopefully we're beginning to see an improvement with a rise in complaints and if should you get one - think of it as a positive event.

There might actually not be something wrong with what you've done, but if you customer thinks there is, then it's great that they've contacted you and they do have a legitimate complaint.
  • The first piece of advice would be to put yourself in the customer's shoes and don't take it personally.
  • Be calm!
  • Apologise - there's nothing better to take the anger out of  a situation than saying the word 'sorry'.  If you feel that you've nothing to apologise for, then there's no harm in saying "I'm so sorry that you feel that......" and summarise their complaint.
  • Tell them what you're going to do to resolve their complaint and get them to agree that this is ok
  • Apologise again before finishing the exchange with your customer.
  • Finally - DO what you said you were going to do.
There will be something you can learn from the complaint - was it a service problem? a product problem? was it the customer misunderstanding something?  All these can be prevented in the future.  For the customer misunderstanding something - does it mean you haven't explained it well enough?

The customer who would have potentially told 10 people about how disgusted with your company they are, is now likely to tell 10 people about how they had a complaint and how well it was resolved.  

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