Any company owner that is serious about being competitive within his/her industry must prioritize providing excellent customer service. But even the absolute best in the business have had run-ins with irate customers. Receiving complaints is bound to happen. But it’s important to remember just how valuable customer complaints can be.
How your company handles complaints can mean the difference between securing long-term loyalty and losing customers for good. Never forget that, these days, the internet allows word to travel fast. One bad online review can cost you a multitude of potential buyers. So what are the best ways to handle customer complaints?
Always keep your cool.
You’re human. It’s perfectly natural to want to react abruptly when someone is yelling at you. Especially when you know the person doing the yelling has misunderstood something that you can easily explain, your job can be particularly frustrating. Stay calm. This is a golden rule to providing great customer service. Your ability to keep your cool will help to bring your irate customer down to your level of countenance. This makes problem-solving so much easier.
“When a customer presents you with a complaint, keep in mind that the issue is not personal; he or she is not attacking you directly but rather the situation at hand,” explains Lorri Freifeld on TrainingMag.com, “‘Winning’ the confrontation accomplishes nothing. A person who remains in control of his or her emotions deals from a position of strength. While it is perfectly natural to get defensive when attacked, choose to be the ‘professional’ and keep your cool.”
We know. You’ve probably heard the same question a thousand times. You’ve also likely received the same complaint on numerous occasions. Nevertheless, don’t simply assume you know exactly what is irking your customers. Listen carefully to what they are saying. That way, you’ll be able to appropriately respond to their specific concerns. It goes a long way in coming to quick resolutions.
“Listen well,” insists Freifeld, “Let the irate customer blow off steam. Respond with phrases such as, ‘Hmm,’ ‘I see,’ and ‘Tell me more.’ Do not interrupt. As the customer vents and sees you are not reacting, he or she will begin to calm down. The customer needs to get into a calm frame of mind before he or she can hear your solution—or anything you say, for that matter.”
Confirm that a true resolution has been found.
Don’t think that just because you’ve clarified something, your customer is happy. It’s possible that even when misunderstandings have been realized and mistakes have been remedied, angry customers will still be angry. Your end result for every customer complaint is to guarantee satisfaction. Probe to make sure your formerly-irate customer is legitimately happy.
“You want to be absolutely sure that the customer is clear on the resolution that occurred and that it met his or her needs,” affirms Gregory Ciotti on HelpScout.com, “If you’re not ending your responses with an inviting question, you may be creating unnecessary trouble.”
At MeloTel, we’re elated that customer complaints are such rarities for our team. However, we invite you to contact us with any questions, concerns or issues you may have. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website. Be sure to ask us about our VoIP-based Commercial Phone Services!