Listen to the customers concerns
Generally, concerns over an issue can be handled without it becoming a complaint. The manner in which the concern is handled will determine the intensity of the problem. Get the customer’s name, address, and phone number and may other applicable information like an account number or username.
The important part here is to respond quickly and professionally. Give the customer a chance to air their grievances as soon as possible. Be proactive in looking for a resolution to the issue.
Give the customer an opportunity to explain the problem without interruptions.
Constantly interrupting the customer will only add the fuel to the problem and may end in a shouting match. It also simply make the customer think that you don’t genuinely care about the issue.
When they’re done, repeat their major points of concern back to them to let them know that you’ve understood.
Don’t challenge their complaint.
Even if what the customer is saying has no basis in reality and you immediately want to completely reject everything they’ve said, don’t tell them they are wrong. This won’t help you resolve the problem.Instead, let them know that you understand their complaint without agreeing with them.
Ask questions to clarify the problems and the causes.
Next, you’ll have to identify exactly where the customer ran into an issue. Many times, customers will assess the entire customer service experience negatively, even if they only had a problem with one part of it. Ask them more questions to determine exactly where something went wrong.
Many time the problem may not be with the price, merchandise or service but with an employee’s negative attitude while dealing with the customer.
Transfer the customer to someone else if necessary.
In some cases, you may be unable to handle the customer’s complaints directly. If this is the case, immediately transfer them to someone who can, like a manager or customer service specialist. This should be done as soon as you determine the need to transfer, not after you’ve already asked the customer a ton of questions.
If language is a problem, find someone that speaks the customer’s language for clear communication to expedite matters.
Extend your regrets that the service or product did not meet the customer’s expectations. Make your apology as sincere as possible.If there business is directly at fault, be the first to acknowledge this. However, if the customer is at fault, allow them to realize this on their own and then gracefully move past it. While it may be tempting, don’t automatically take an employee’s side against the customer or vice versa. You’ll have to investigate the problem further to determine who is at fault
Empathize with their problem.
Put yourself in the customer’s place.Everyone has experienced bad service at some point.Saying that you understand and feel for the customer’s problem will help diffuse a situation.Doing so lets the customer know that you’re with them and will work with them to solve the problem at hand.
Find out how the customer wants the issue resolved.
Simply ask the customer what they want, even if you are unsure if you can provide it. The resolution could be in the form of a replacement, refund, exchange, store credit or discount on price.
Reassure them that the problem will be taken care of.
Explain to the customer that all feedback by a customer is valued by the company. The customer will be unsure whether or not you will actually solve their problem, so be clear that you intend you reach a mutually beneficial solution.
Do your best to remedy the complaint.
If possible, go through with what the customer has asked for. If this is not possible, you should offer them other sufficient solutions that may remedy the issue. Focus on what you can offer them instead of on what you can’t. Decide on a solution and execute that solution as quickly as possible.
If the customer’s request can be met, explain the time it takes to process or what it will entail to make it happen.
When a date for resolution is given to the customer, make sure the date is kept, or the delay is explained by a follow-up call or email.
Thank the customer.
Express your genuine appreciation to the customer for sharing their complaint. Explain that customer complaints serve as constructive criticism and can allow the company to better serve other customers. Be sure that you include that you hope to serve them again soon.
Follow up with them.
Call or email the customer to make sure that they felt as though their issue was completely resolved. Give them a contact number to call if they feel as though their problem was not resolved.You can also follow up with a customer service survey that you can use to assess your business’s ability to resolve customer complaints. This should be done 24 to 48 hours after the complaint was resolved
Record the customer interaction.
Write down information regarding the interaction with the customer and how the situation was handled, if applicable. You should also note whether or not the interaction resulted in a resolution of the complaint and what that resolution entailed. Then, compile similar complaints by grouping them under similar categories based on cause or the product/service complained about.
From here, you can analyze where your receive the most complaints and look to the resolutions to correct the problem for customers before it arises.
You can also use the complaint-resolution data to analyze how successful your customer service is or how much more or less successful it has become over time.
Know what not to say to the customer.
Some phrases will just anger customers more and are not particularly useful in resolving complaints. Here are some examples:
According to our policy… When mistakes happen, customers don’t want to hear about your policies and regulations. Policies keep companies running smoothly and shouldn’t be used for hiding mistakes. At the same time, know how to get your policy across in layman’s terms.
Let me transfer you to the manager. Don’t throw the hot potato to your manager if you don’t need to. Not only you’re adding fuel to the fire by forcing the customer to repeat their problem, but you’re also showing a lack of competence in your support. If this needs to be done, do it before the customer has fully explained their problem.
Be sure to also explain why you are transferring them. For example, you may need a specialist to take care of their problem.
Don’t take it personally.
It may be tempting to take all customer complaints personally. If you’re a small business owner they will get to you and make you question many aspects of your operation. However, you have to know that customer complaints are a simple truth of business and that they occur regularly even for the most well-run and successful businesses. Keep in mind that every complaint can be an opportunity for improvement.
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