The Best Way to Handle Customer Complaints

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No matter what type of business you own – B2B or B2C – you won’t be able to please every customer. From product offering to service capabilities, someone is going to have an issue with something along the way.

And when they do, it’s up to you and everyone at your company to handle it professionally. As Tony Hsieh once said, “Customer service shouldn’t just be A department, it should be the entire company.”

Before we dive into the best ways to handle customer problems or concerns, we’d like to give you an example of the worst way. After this call with Comcast went viral, consumers everywhere were able to see how poorly the customer on the phone was treated by the representative. But that wasn’t even the worst part of the scenario. Following that incident, Comcast as a company backed the representative up, saying that they train their agents to do exactly what that employee did.

Not only did Comcast provide poor customer service, but they also did nothing to protect their brand’s reputation. While it is important that you stay true to who you are and what you do, your customers’ support is what keeps your business thriving. Without it, it has the potential to fall apart.

The moral of the story? Don’t be Comcast – and try to do more of the following to keep your customers happy and turn their input into something positive.

  1. Make sure your products match the hype: Don’t even give your customers the chance to complain about your products by guaranteeing they are exactly as you said they would be. If you’re marketing a new product as the best thing customers will ever see, make sure that when it’s released it really is the best thing they’ve ever seen. If you overpromise and under deliver, you’ll have a lot of disappointed fans.
  2. Monitor and respond to complaints: More often than not, an unsatisfied customer will take to social media or other websites like Yelp to tell the world about their negative experience. That phenomenon is not going away any time soon so the best way to handle it is to monitor the web. You might be too busy to watch the internet all day for reports about your business, but hiring someone to do so is your best bet. (And we can help fund that new hire!) Plus, responding on these open forum sites will help rebuild your credibility and show that not every experience with your company will be a bad one.
  3. Be prepared: When pitching your business idea to an investor (or many), did you have a plan of action if your pitch failed? Of course you did. Not all business ventures will work out the way you want them to. The same goes with your marketing and service efforts. If you think that a message your business puts out will be controversial to some groups of customers, come up with a plan of action prior to launching in order to resolve any distaste customers may have.
  4. Let down your pride: Apologize. Remember, the customer is always right even when they’re wrong. They want you to acknowledge their concerns and apologize that they left your business (or bought your product) with a less than excellent experience. This is hard to do when you truly believe in everything your business stands for, but doing so can create a retention opportunity for you instead of a lost customer.
  5. Take action: Take customer complaints and turn them into action items. They’re the ones buying from you, so truly listen to what they are suggesting. Not every concern or problem will be a reasonable one, but try to weed out the ones that are and do something about them. Make a change in your business – and it could turn out to be for the better.
  6. Remember you can’t please everyone: If you have spent any time in your career as a customer service representative, you know that there are people who complain just because they know they can. No matter what you say or how you attempt to resolve the problem, that person will never be fully satisfied. If you feel confident that you did everything you could to try and make the situation better, then consider the issue closed and the customer a loss. You can’t please everyone, so focus more time and energy on the ones you know you can win back.

Customers are the backbone of every successful business, so handling negativity with grace and professionalism goes a long way.

For information on Direct Capital, visit our website or give us a call today at 866-777-0117. We can’t wait to learn about your business and we promise to make your experience remarkable!

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