Dealing with customer complaints can be both gruelling and rewarding. But being able to turn the situation around so your customer is happy with the outcome can strengthen their loyalty to your brand and inspire some gold standard word of mouth marketing.
Communication and attitude are as vital as expert product knowledge.
Listen and empathise
Let the customer tell their story. Ask questions to clarify. Let them know you want to understand. Let your customer know you can see it (and feel it) from their point of view.
Make sure you understand
Sum up your understanding of the problem. Ask the customer to confirm you have it correctly. Clarify factors your customer may not be aware of such as warehousing or supply issues, but make it clear you’re not making excuses.
It may not be your fault; there may have been a breakdown in communication, there might be other things in play.
Apologise anyway. Acknowledge that your customer has had a disappointing experience with your services or products.
Make it right
If it’s within your power to fix the issue straight away, outline what you recommend to sort out the problem. Check with your customer that they see it as an acceptable outcome.
Involve him or her to work together with you for the best solution.
Outline further requirements
Outline clearly if you need authorisation further up the line or to follow up with other parties (e.g. overseas suppliers). State how long you expect this to take and how you will advise the outcome. Give your customer a way to contact you so they feel they have some control in the situation.
Make sure the issue is resolved and the customer is happy with the outcome. If not and it proves impossible to sort out that specific issue, what can you do to repair the situation? A written apology from the company, a voucher for a generous discount on the next order, gift cards?
Legacy Chartered Accountants has offices in Whakatane and Tauranga.