No business enjoys getting complaints, but handling a complaint opens doors to improve both your business and your relationship with the customer/client. Even if you think the customer isn’t right, all complaints should be taken seriously. Something as small as one dissatisfied customer can affect your reputation. Good complaint management is a valuable asset.
Plan ahead and be consistent
Getting some complaints at some point is almost inevitable – develop a strategy now so you’re prepared. Train all of your employees to respond in a consistent way and make them aware that complaint handling is a priority. Also, be updated on all facets of complaint handling: online, in-person, telephone and mail.
Most importantly, don’t get hostile or defensive. Apologize immediately, and then resolve the problem. Also, this is a good chance to actually thank the customer for complaining; the customer is taking time out of his/her day to help your business improve.
Take steps to fix it
Simply being sorry isn’t enough. You must respond with action to fully rectify the situation. Be cautious with overusing free gifts, while tempting, they don’t always actually solve anything.
When handled correctly, complaints can lead to satisfied and loyal customers. Customers will be impressed and tell their friends about their positive situation, instead of a negative one. Take every complaint as a learning experience. And remember, it’s more cost-effective to keep a customer than to find new ones.