Customer At Market

No matter what industry you’re in, customer complaints are an unfortunate inevitability. But, as much as you might want to, you can’t just bury your head in the sand. Customer complaints need to be dealt with or you risk losing business and having your reputation damaged. If you deal with them in the right way, however, they can even be beneficial. Read on to find out how complaints can be used to fuel your company’s growth.

1. Listen

It’s hard to step back when somebody is complaining about your business. But all complaints need to be heard in full. If you interrupt, even if it’s to offer a solution, your customer will feel like you just want to get rid of them quickly. Allow them to tell you everything before you respond.

2. Find the right person

When somebody complains, you might not be in a position to help with their complaint. But if you need to pass them on, ensure it’s to the right person. There’s nothing worse, when you have a complaint, than being passed from person to person with no solution. And, whatever you do, don’t pass them to somebody who hasn’t been trained to deal with complaints.

3. Don’t defend

It’s important you’re not too defensive when you respond to customer complaints. Remember, the aim of responding is not to defend your company, but to resolve the issue and keep the customer happy. Put yourself in their shoes, rather than the shoes of your company. Would you be satisfied if you had received the service or product that they have?

4. Apologise

Customers don’t want excuses or blame. They want an apology, first and foremost. Make sure you take responsibility for what’s happened on behalf of your business. You might find that this is all they want to hear. And, following a proper apology, you can go on to explain why the problem has occurred.

5. Ask about the outcome

There are a number of ways to resolve a complaint. A replacement product, refund or discount on a future purchase are some ways customers can be kept happy. But it’s up to you to ask the customer for their desired outcome. Suggesting different outcomes yourself could make them feel – again – like you’re trying to deal with it hastily.

6. Make a record

It’s important to keep a record of customer complaints. Firstly, so you can refer back to them if the issue arises again. But, also, so you can assess your complaint records as a whole. It’s all well and good dealing with individual complaints, but there might be common complaint being made by several customers. By identifying this, you can amend your product or processes and tackle the root of the cause.

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