How to tackle customer complaints
It is a true fact that in business life not all customers will be happy. It doesn't matter if you have a well run business, a little mistake or problem can cause people to be unhappy with your products or service. It is the nature of man to complain when he is unhappy.
Many businesses are not concerned with quality and often ignore complaints. But if you care and cope well with the complaints, they can actually give your business strong benefits in the long run.
Let's see ways to tackle customers' complaints and change a dissatisfied customer into a contented one.
There are lots of ways for customers to express their dissatisfaction. They can do so through:
- Writing letters to the head office of the company.
Writing a letter to the business head office is probably the most used way for a customer to complain. When a customer buys a product or pays for a service, she expects things to work well the first time and to receive satisfaction as promised. If this fails to be fulfilled, the customer will have no problem filing a complaint with the head office. She will be glad to include detailed descriptions of the problem and the reasons for wanting the product to be exchanged, to get a refund or have the product to be repaired.
Upon receiving a complaint, the company should seek to correct the issue addressed in the letter immediately. Receiving a letter of complaint from a customer is not always a bad thing; it actually has its advantages. It allows the customer service to have time to investigate the problem, to hopefully solve it and send a favorable reply that will make the customer happy enough to remain a customer of the company and buy the product or service again. Of course, as mentioned above, the company may have to consider giving the customer a full refund, letting her exchange the product for one of the same value or be willing to perform repairs with no out of pocket cost to the customer.
- Making phone calls.
If a telephone number is included in addition to the mailing address on the product package, some people will prefer using the telephone to the mail. They like to address the problem as soon as possible and to hear that something will be done right away.
Unfortunately for the company, using this method to solve the problem doesn't give its staff members time to look into the problem. If the company cares enough about the customer complaint, it will offer a solution immediately. An apology is appropriate and offering extra bonus service will not hurt as well. The company can offer a discount on the same or different product on her next purchase or give a special service just to assure that the customer will come back for more business.
- Solving the problem in retail store face to face with the customer.
Many retail stores have a generous return policy to satisfy unhappy customers. Customers are constantly looking for reasons to return an item for an exchange, to get a refund or for a store credit.
If this happens, don't be dismissive of your customer's problem so quickly. Instead, handle the complaint happily. It is better for the business in the long run to simply accept the returned item than argue with the customer.
- Resolve complaints sent by email.
Receiving a complaint through an email should be addressed in the same manner as a letter, a phone call, or a face to face talk. It should be handled with courtesy, sympathy, and more importantly, quickly and professionally.
Complaints should be approached calmly, with a willingness to establish the purpose of the complaint and to simply listen with understanding. Talk to the customer with confidence and ask to see their sales receipt, the damaged goods, and be ready to offer a way to rectify the problem. It can be a refund, a replacement, or a repair.
Remember your approach to dealing with customer dissatisfaction is one more move to stay ahead of the competitors.