All businesses have it, and most hate it: the customer complaining about the product or the service.
Properly handling customer complaints is actually one of the most powerful ways of creating loyalty. Similarly, poor handling will guarantee your company bad publicity and a poor reputation.
One of the main reasons why complaints are handled in the wrong way is when you take the complaint personally. This happens very easily because in many cases the customer brings his emotions in the picture and makes accusations using “you” while he means “the company”. Entering such a personal argument only escalates things and the discussion usually ends in a conflict.
Not only must you realize that complaints are rarely of a personal nature, they are in most cases legitimate. Of course, there always will be the customer who wants to get some financial advantage by complaining, or those who never will be satisfied regardless of how good your product or service is, but there is a good reason why your customers complain. It might always be rational or logical to you, but be assured that it is to them.
The art of proper complaint handling is in finding out what the actual reason is. Be aware that this can be different from what the customers said at first. You must also realize that emotions are part of complaining and that the customer may need to blow some steam. Unfortunately, he will do so to you even while he knows that you have nothing to do with it. It is just part of the process. Just ask questions, and listen to the answers. If the customers yells, let him yell and do not get involved in a war of words.
Once you have identified the real cause of the problem, deal with it professionally and correct it in the proper way! Once the customer gets what he expected to get in the first place, he will be satisfied again. Just make sure that he realizes that he owes it to your dedication to him.
Be assured that he will remember that special personal service. This way, you will win his loyalty.
So, be happy that your customer complains, because it will give you precious feedback about the actual quality of your product and service, and it offers a unique opportunity to secure future sales! The worst that can happen to your business is losing a customer without knowing why he is not satisfied, because this does not give you any information on how to improve your product.
Copyright 2009 The Happy Future Group Consulting Ltd.