The dreaded complaint, it happens to all of us. It’s the nature of doing business. The difference between success and failure is in how you handle it. The trick is to plan ahead and turn it into an opportunity!
- Listen! Don’t interrupt or get defensive.
- Be calm and polite. They may follow your lead.
- Don’t take it personally, because it’s not personal. The customer has a problem with your product or service, or they had a bad day and you are an easy target.
- Sincerely apologize
- Fix the problem, if possible
- Clearly tell them what you intend to do.
- Follow through in a timely manner! (Can’t stress this one enough)
The customer may see that you stand behind your product, and you may earn their respect and loyalty.
In today’s technology-driven society, it isn’t always as easy as having the customer come directly to you with their complaint. More and more people are taking their complaints to social media. In order to fix online negativity:
- Have an online presence!
- Be vigilant about monitoring any mention of your business online.
- Be familiar with social media and great at customer service. If that’s not you, delegate.
- Respond quickly, and if possible, call the customer so they feel important.
When bad things happen, it’s an opportunity. If you can solve the problem, it’s an opportunity to make your product or service better. If there is a problem but no easy solution, you have the opportunity to consider how you might deal with this problem in the future, and improve your product or service. If you have an unreasonable customer, you have an opportunity to practice your customer service skills. No matter the situation, seize the opportunity!