Even the best businesses in the world will receive a complaint or two in their lifetimes and with social media and the internet in the mix, complaints seem to come from all angles these days. The trick is to know how to deal with complaints as and when they come so that your business can save face while maintaining a professional and courteous reputation. We’ve all seen examples in the news of PR and customer service handled badly and the storm of public reaction that follows, so make sure your company does not make the same mistakes.
The first rule of dealing with complaints is this: don’t ignore them! This isn’t a problem that will go away by itself if you stick your head in the sand. Like most problems, complaints are best dealt with head on to nip any bad press in the bud quickly and professionally.
With this simple guide to the do’s and don’ts of complaints, you can ensure that any problems that may arise do not become too hard to handle.
Address the problem quickly – customers are more likely to get angry and aggressive if they feel they are being ignored.
Be personal –reply to each complaint individually if you can. Automated responses that deal with your customer service are never as good as person-to-person correspondence. Customers catch on pretty quickly to robot responses and will react negatively if they feel they are being fobbed off.
Address the problem – listen to the complaint being made and address it directly. Be direct about how you are going to move forward.
Keep customers in the loop – once you have stated how you are going to rectify the situation, make sure you follow through and inform your customer when steps have been taken. Not only does this resolve the issue to everyone’s satisfaction, but it can also lead to positive responses on your review pages.
Make yourself available – ensure that your customer service contact details are easy to find and are received promptly. Having a dedicated page, like Motoring World Complaints, helps to alleviate customer frustration.
Make excuses – don’t skirt around the issue or try to lay blame at the customer’s feet. They may not be 100% right, but it is your job to make sure they are happy.
Avoid the issue at hand – If there is a specific problem the customer is referring to, and then make sure that is the one you address first.
- Ignore complaints – this is the golden rule. Complaints can quickly spiral out of control and you may find your website and social media platforms bombarded by angry customers if you ignore them.
- Get aggressive – sometimes customers can drive us mad and it may seem that they are complaining about trivial matters, but in the end, their negative responses could seriously damage your company’s reputation so you have to be the bigger man and not take the complaint personally.
- And remember, the customer may not always be right but they do deserve your attention when things go wrong. How you deal with your complaints could mean the difference between a successful resolution and a stream of negative reviews.