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Regardless of what business you are in, chances are that you will have customers either internal or external who will play a critical role in your business. It is a good idea to remember that no business can exist without customers so it is vital that you learn how to manage your customers both when they are exceptionally thrilled with you and when they are complaining about your product or service.
One of the advantages of handling customer complaints effectively is that it turns what could potentially be a catastrophe into a lifelong, loyal customer. Regardless of how good your product or service is there are bound to be a few customer complaints that come up, so it pays to be able to manage them in a way that enables you to retain your customers and keep them happy.
In this podcast we are going to talk about 6 ways that you can manage customer complaints effectively:
- It’s important to first understand the value of your customers
- What’s the real cost of fixing the complaint?
- All complaining customers want to feel respected and validated
- Manage your customer complaints
- Always tell your customers what you can do (and not what you can’t do)
- If it’s possible, always try and follow-up afterwards
Ideas to Manage Complaints
1. It’s important to first understand the true value of your customers
To understand the importance of managing customer complaints successfully, you must first understand the true value of your customers.
2. What’s the real cost of fixing the complaint?
Many times employees think it is really expensive to fix a customer’s complaints. Spend some time calculating how much time and money it really costs to fix a customer’s complaint and weigh that against the potential cost of losing a customer. Which one is actually cheaper?
4. What Customers Hate About Complaining
Despite what you might think, most customers don’t like complaining at all. What customers find even worse about complaining is when they get a series of inappropriate or ineffective responses from the staff member they are complaining to. Think about how you feel when you have a customer complaint!
5. Always tell your customers what you can do (and NOT what you can’t do)
When a customer registers an issue or raises a complaint with you, always acknowledge your customer’s complaint and let them know upfront, what you can do (and NOT want you can’t do for them). Always try and put your response in a positive frame, and not a negative frame. Try to enable the conversation to move forward and not get sidetracked or go back and rehash previous ground.
6.If it’s possible, always try and follow-up afterwards
Many managers and employees are often reluctant to go back and revisit a customer complaint once they feel it has been resolved. Perhaps it’s because they feel that the customer may be unhappy and that they don’t want to open up old wounds. In fact, the very reason why you want to call a customer and follow-up after fixing a complaint is to make sure they have no further issues. After all, you don’t want the customer to still be upset or unhappy with the resolution.