If possible, your employees should take notes while the customer makes their complaint. Your team member should be able to repeat the customer’s complaint back to them, using their words, to show and confirm they’ve understood the problem correctly – in person, online, over the phone – wherever they’re interacting with customers.
Remember that every bad review, angry social media message, or disappointed email is a chance for your individual staff members and your organisation to improve. Your staff should thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention rather than just complaining to other customers!
It’s important to apologise with a heartfelt, compassionate statement. For example: “I truly apologise for this situation – if this happened to me, I would be frustrated too.”
Your team should know and be able to outline the steps that can be taken to fix the problem, ensuring they are realistic about outcomes and the timeline.
After confirming that the customer is happy with the plan, your staff must take action to resolve the issue. Then, follow up with the customer to see if everything has met an acceptable conclusion.
Businesses should have systems in place to make handling customer complaints efficient, simple, and trackable. Everyone on your customer-facing team should have the training and the tools to resolve customer complaints to a reasonable degree.
Make sure you have systems in place to log complaints and relevant details about how they were resolved, how quickly, and any insights to be gained from the interaction. Did they find a flaw on the website? Were they unhappy with a certain aspect of your product? Were there shipping delays? Ensure your team has the capacity to not only fix individual issues, but the ability to highlight systemic or organisational problems to senior management that will then be followed up and rectified.
Handling customer complaints can be an emotionally charged, difficult process – but with the right skills, and proper training, your team will be able to send customers away satisfied, and improve your business at the same time!
Watch Recognising Customer Disappointment