How to Handle the Customer Complaints
⏱ Reading Time: 9 minutes
A customer complaints is an objection raised by a customer when a business fails to deliver. A successful business depends on happy and satisfied customers so customer loyalty is what drives your business forward. You would never be able to grow your business without the approval of your customers. Truth is that customers always complain about something.
According to research by Esteban Kolsky, approximately 13% of unhappy customers share their complaints with 15 or more people. Only one out of every 25 dissatisfied customers issues a direct complaint to you. Therefore you have to keep your customer happy and protect yourself from the bad press by addressing complaints and following up.
Similarly, a Harvard Business Review study found that customers will spend more in the future if the company promptly responds when they have an issue. Thus, it is crucial to understand the importance of customer complaints, their benefits to a business, and how to handle them without disappointment. Let’s take a closer look at how to deal with customer complaints effectively!
What is a Customer Complaints?
A customer complaint is an objection raised by a customer when a business fails to deliver on its commitment and doesn’t meet its expectations. Customers can complain by having unreasonable expectations or making incorrect assumptions. Some companies do something wrong, while others are the fault of their own.
If you mistakenly claim something incorrect about your product/service or set the customer up for failure with your user experience, you may get a complaint from a customer. And it is very important to provide satisfactory service to existing clients to obtain new ones.
The key to business success is customer satisfaction. The reason is that if customers publicly air their complaints, there is potential damage to your and your company’s/brand’s reputation. But customer service complaints can help you improve the efficiency of your business.
How to Handle Customer Complaints Effectively?
Customers typically complain about a product or service by calling the company and sharing their stories. Customer complaints like these may be genuine, or there may be an oversight at the end that has adversely affected the customer.
When a product does not perform as expected, customers can react differently. Customer patience varies from person to person. Regardless of the situation, dealing with angry customers should be standardized. Some methods for addressing customer complaints are described below!
Focus On Customers, Not Money
Jackma, former chairman and CEO of Alibaba, said, “We should focus on customers, Not Money.” It is only when you truly focus on the customer rather than on the money, your customer will notice. And as a result, you will be rewarded with their loyalty as a result of placing value on them. Employees should prioritize maintaining motivation to satisfy the customer’s needs is crucial to ensuring their satisfaction.
Picture 1. The first rule is to NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY
Whenever possible, resolve the customer’s complaints as quickly as possible. A quick response becomes a necessity when a customer is dissatisfied. It is okay for a customer to leave a feature request if it takes you a day to respond, but customers who have a hard time will expect you to respond quickly.
In customer support, put your customers first to ensure they have an enjoyable, smooth, and recognizable experience. Hence, it would be best if you considered quickly responding to complaints about the phone, live chat, social media, or through email.
Even though you cannot solve the problem immediately, at the very least, you can reassure them that they have been heard and taken into account and that you will do your best to fix things as quickly as possible.
Keep a Professional Attitude
No matter how tough it may be to handle customer complaints, it would be best if you remained calm. It cannot be easy, especially if your business is something that you are immensely proud of. However, do not take the complaint personally; it is not intended as a personal attack.
It’s only natural to become defensive when attacked, but ‘winning’ a confrontation will do you no good. So never get emotional, take it personally when customers are frustrated, and let them speak their minds.
Keeping control of one’s emotions is a key to dealing from a position of strength. Your business can often improve upon an aspect revealed by customer complaints.
Listen Carefully and Understand the Problem
When a customer is complaining, they are hoping that you will hear them. The fact that they are taking the time to reach out to you, even if you think the complaint is insignificant, clearly means something for them.
The first rule is to always listen to the customer. The customer is concerned about something regarding your service. Don’t be tempted to respond in any hurried way. Listen to what they are saying so you can truly comprehend why they are worried.
As soon as you have heard their dilemma, empathize with what they are saying to create a bond with them, so they know you have heard their concerns and are focused on resolving the problem.
Collect All Information and Details
When you’ve heard from the customer, acknowledge their problem and repeat it to them again. When you paraphrase and repeat what they have said to customers, it lets them know that you paid attention and understand their problem.
Once you’ve listened to them for a bit, start asking questions to collect as many details as possible to understand the situation better. You should, however, keep the formality to a minimum and avoid sounding too scripted.
Propose a Solution
Once you find the real cause of the customer’s complaint, create a solution and send it to the customer. Make sure it solves the problem by verifying your proposal. When offering a solution, always make sure you focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot. For every situation, there is a solution!
In addition, when offering a solution, always be courteous and respectful. Regardless of whether you can control the problem, show the customer that you’re willing to handle it on their behalf.
Make sure you command the situation and tell the customer what you intend to do to resolve the issue.
Thank the Customer
Regardless of how unpleasant it was to deal with a customer complaint, you should always be thankful at the end of the day. You should thank your customer for bringing your attention to the complaint. This allows your company to improve after finding the solution. By doing so, they will also feel important and valuable.
Your customer service department needs to confirm whether the customer’s complaint has been addressed according to their expectations by calling them to check on this. The courtesy of a confirmation call after a week or so will do much to impress your customers.
In order to build the customer’s trust in the brand, it is a good idea to ask the customer whether or not he is satisfied with the services. This will make word of mouth more effective in the future.
Picture 3. Built the trust!
Different Type of Customer Complaint
When dealing with a complaining customer, it is important to identify the type of customer you are dealing with. This helps you know what type of response is most effective for them. It will be much easier to handle complaints once you learn to recognize these patterns and respond accordingly. Different customers have different attitudes and behavior. So, when they make complaints, they also differ. Here is how:
While dealing with customer complaints, you might come across some prudent customers who complain logically. In case they make complaints, it will be reasonable. So, if you get such complaints, you should interact with the customer wisely; listen to them respectfully to understand the details of the situation. As you acknowledge the existing problem, you should look forward to resolving the problem immediately.
There are these swindle customers who gather stupid reasons to make complaints. They make complaints because they tend to look for freebies rather than a solution or satisfactory support. A fraud customer complains over and over again that the response provided isn’t satisfactory. Thus, you should have stats and data to back up that your response is promising.
Constantly Complaining Customer
Some customers are never really satisfied with anything. They complain about your products, your employees, your services, responses, and everything.
How to deal with these constantly crouching customers? It would help if you listened to them peacefully without objecting to them. After they make their complaints, you should humbly reply to them and try to solve their complaints.
An organization often has to deal with aggressive customers. The aggressive ones are loud; they make complaints loudly and are not ready to hear any excuses.
While dealing with such customer complaints, you should humbly speak to them and thank them for their complaint. It would be best if you assured them that you’d go to the depth of the problem and find a solution to it as soon as possible.
How Do Customer Complaints Benefit Your Business?
Despite your best efforts in business, you may not always be able to satisfy your customers. Every business strives to improve customer satisfaction but sometimes isn’t able to. Your customers’ complaints are the perfect way to understand how they feel about your products. Customers’ complaints can also be incredibly valuable to a business for several reasons:
Improving Customer Satisfaction
Customer complaints and their solutions are a way of satisfying the customer and making them happy. Taking the customer complaints and resolving them will make unsatisfied customers happy. A happy customer means good business; thus, customer complaints improve your business for sure.
Enhanced Services or Products
Taking complaints from your customers and improving your flaws will upgrade your product and services. When your flaws are improved, your business will make profits.
Policy and Procedure Improvements
Knowing what is not working for the customers, you can improve your manufacturing procedures and other business policies.
Improved Communication with Customers
Customer complaints improve your communication with the customers. You will know your customer’s preferences. Knowing their opinion, you can improve the quality of your products. The improvement in your quality will improve the brand image as well.
Picture 4. Negative feedback lets you know in which area you should do extra work!
Handling customer complaints who are unhappy with your products and services is a vital part of a business. Every organization must have a customer complaint management system. Your company’s reputation can be enhanced if your after-sales service professionally handles customer complaints, leading to top-level positioning in people’s minds while making a purchase.
So, you should train your employees to follow your complaint resolving procedure. Give them the power to resolve issues as quickly as possible! And make sure to encourage your customers to provide feedback!
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