While no one likes to be criticized, complaints, whether valid or not, offers you the opportunity to resolve specific issues in your operations. Aside from this, they could likewise help you strengthen your customer relationships by communicating to them that you value their business and take their concerns very seriously. That said, below are some basic guidelines for handling customer complaints:
How to handle customer complaints
- Always respond to every complaint. Make sure that customers who complain get an appropriate and prompt response.
- Start by thanking the customer for the complaint. Think of complaints as gifts. Count yourself lucky that customers are willing to take the time to inform you of their issues.
- Apologize for whatever inconvenience you caused. This is plain good manners and not an admission of fault.
- Try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers so that you could empathize with them. Don’t think off the bat that a customer is a serial complainer or if trying to rip you off (because sadly some are). Think of where the customer is coming from.
- Get all the facts. This would help calm down an emotional customer and you to fully understand the incidents that led to the complaint.
- Resolve the issue. Avoid offering a Band-Aid solution like a voucher or discount code since this won’t solve the problem and could give rise to the same complaints in the future because you didn’t resolve the issue in the first place.
- Evaluate every complaint and see how you could learn from them. For example, you could train your staff to be more alert, helpful, and knowledgeable about your policies if you get complaints about them, or you could use an RMA app and tweak your returns policy if your customers are having issues about your returns process. Put simply; strive to minimize or eliminate the cause or fault of every complaint.
- Listen to your employees because they’re the ones who handle the complaints. Listen to their suggestions and apply them if they’re sensible. Additionally, make sure to address their complaints as well. Reward employees that handle complaints well.
Keep in mind that it would cost you more to gain new customers than it is to keep existing customers happy. To that end, prioritize customer complaints and resolve them efficiently and quickly, or risk losing your valued customers and turning away prospective customers.