Providing good customer service to your clients is integral to the company’s survival. If you want to establish a good reputation for customer service, you need to be able to devise ways on how to resolve various customer complaints. It’s difficult the implement the mantra “the customer is always right”, but you can certainly devise ways to approach a situation to make the customer feel that way.
Here’s how to resolve customer complaints.
- Establish a set policy. You must train all personnel on how to handle complaints from customers. There must be a procedure in place so all employees can refer to it when faced with a situation. For example, there must be an immediate first line of defense when dealing with customers. Give your customer service employee leeway to handle a situation, such as placing a refund, accepting damaged goods and documenting the transaction. Arm your people so that the need to call a superior is minimized and the conflict is resolved in a faster manner.
- Always be polite and stay calm. No matter how irate the customer is you need to stay calm. Do not engage the customer by reacting to the situation. You will only add to his hostility. You have to understand that the customer is frustrated because of a product or service that he is not getting from your company and it’s your job to make things better.
- Listen to the customer. Take the time to listen to the customer so you know exactly what the problem is. Do not interrupt the person, but you may divert the conversation if he is ranting on and on about something he has already said before.
- Repeat back what the customer has said. To make sure you understand the customer’s specific complaints, mirror back what he has said. Use short and clear sentences to describe his situation back to him, to make sure that you have understood it clearly. This will validate the customer and let him know you really heard him. Also, once you are clear about the specific problem, you can take the appropriate course of action.
- Offer a solution. Be ready to provide a solution to the customer’s complaint. This shows that you and the company are willing to take steps to keep customers happy. This goes a long way in pleasing your customer and establishing a good reputation with your client base.
- Think of the big picture. In some cases, you may need to divert from policy because some situations may be more damaging to the company in the long run. With social networking sites and blogs, customers aren’t afraid to bad mouth you or your company when they are dissatisfied.
Remember that when a customer is happy with you, he will tell one person, but when he is displeased, he will let at least ten other people know. It’s important you address the situation immediately and do so in a calm and professional manner.