How to deal with customer complaints
So how do you deal with irate customers? Here are some tips for how to make the most of feedback:
Don’t treat people like they’re stupid:
Consumers have the power so any flannel won’t work. Don’t try to offer hollow sweetners – if you’ve made a mess then give them some money back rather than a weak incentive for them to spend more.
Talk to people as if they were standing in front of you and make them realise that their feedback is important. There could easily be a system where an email pops in to your inbox within two seconds of you putting down the call.
A rumour that spreads on Facebook or Twitter about your business cannot be stopped by legal means – no-one makes friends by suing their customers – and any response will be greeted with the thought that ‘they would say that, wouldn’t they’. There is only one way to respond to this, which is to be entirely open about any genuine mistake you have made, and be prepared to take action and make amends. Then, when a false accusation is made, you can point to your record and maintain the dialogue.
Deal with it:
People are much more interested in the customer service than they are the product. Products are generally good across most of the big names but it’s the service that can be defining, especially if the product is exactly the same. A poor customer interaction may not necessarily leave someone fuming but they may not return. On the flip side, if something goes wrong and it’s corrected by great customer service then that person may return again and again. Don’t sweep bad reviews under the carpet…deal with them.
Bad reviews can be good:
Most businesses are realistic enough to realise an operation may not run seamlessly all the time. But they also know that a business is measured as much by how it deals with those problems as it is by the services it provides.
The issue for them now is not getting complaints but how to encourage responsible and transparent feedback that is beneficial to both the customer and the business. With the emergence of Twitter and other social media the way we complain has changed and bosses also want feedback to come straight to them rather than having to search it out. Good reviews are fabulous but bad reviews can help grow your business too – as long as you listen to your customers and do something about it.
Understand the power of the consumer:
People always used to say word of mouth was the strongest marketing tool. Now that word of mouth can spread across the globe in the click of a mouse, that saying is even more important today. Customers can’t be fobbed off just because they’re emailing from America and you’re in Tunbridge Wells. Instead of seeing complaining customers as an annoyance, use them to create a positive message. If you win someone over with word and deed you’ll have a customer for life and a fervent supporter,
There will always be companies which worry about feedback but the real pioneers are the ones using it to shape their business and evolve as a result.
If you have a number of feedbacks about poor facilities or products, do something about it. Don’t pretend they don’t exist. Feefo enables you to see the root of the problem straight away so you can tackle it instantly too. Encouraging feedback from customers helps reduce barriers and enables businesses to react instantly and build that ‘High Street’ rapport. It doesn’t matter if that feedback is good or bad – you can learn from it all.