No matter how big and reputed the organization is, it is a fact that failures continue to occur, sometimes for reasons outside the organization’s control. Hence, it is important that a company handle their customer complaints effectively. Handling customer complaints requires determination to resolve any problems that may occur. The frontline employees must be prepared to deal with angry customers. Employees should also be empowered to use their judgement and communication skills, in order to develop solutions that will satisfy complaining customers.
To ensure effective service recovery would require commitment, planning and clear guidelines. A company cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to customer care. Listed below are few guidelines that will help to handle customer complaints effectively.
10 Steps To Effectively Handling Customer Complaints
- Admit Mistakes, But Don’t Be Defensive:An organization should admit their mistake but should never act defensive. Acting defensively sends wrong signals to consumers and they might think that the organization has something to hide.
- Act Fast:A company should promptly act to consumer complaint. Today, many companies have established policies of responding within 24 hours or sooner. Even if the solution to the problem is going to take longer, fast acknowledgement remains very crucial.
- Don’t Argue With Customers:Argument with customers should be avoided at any cost. If the customer is at fault, don’t try to prove that he is an idiot. Work towards gathering facts and reach a mutually acceptable solution.
- Show That You Understand The Problem From Each Customer’s Point Of View:Service personnel should avoid jumping to conclusions with their own interpretation. They should see situations through the customer eyes.
- Give Customers The Benefit Of Doubt:Frankly, not all complaints by customers are valid and not all customers are truthful. But the service personnel should do a thorough check before treating their complaint as invalid. Till then, give customers the benefit of doubt and treat their complaint accordingly.
- Acknowledge The Customer’s Feelings:Acknowledge the feelings of the customers tactfully. For example, say things like, “I can understand why you are upset”. This action helps to build a rapport with the customers.
- Clarify The Steps Needed To Solve The Problems:When instant solutions are not possible, customers should be informed of the steps that will be taken by the organization to solve their problem. An expected time frame in which the complaint will be resolved should also be given.
- Keep Customers Informed Of The Progress:It is not a good idea to leave the customers in the dark. They should know what is going on and receive progress reports.
- Consider Compensation:If the customer has not received the service as promised or has suffered inconveniences, then offering compensation is appropriate. Compensation can either be monetary or equivalent service in kind. This compensation strategy also reduce the risk of legal action by an angry customer.
- Preserving To Regain Customers Goodwill:When customer faces service failure, one of the biggest challenge is to restore their confidence and preserve the relationship for the future. Truly exceptional recovery efforts can be extremely effective in building loyalty and referrals.
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