Some people will not always be happy with your business irrespective of the nature, size or how successful your business is. Therefore you should always expect consumer care complaints as you cannot please everyone no matter how hard you try. Unlike before, complaining about a business, product or service seems difficult and stressful. Nowadays with the availability of the internet and mobile phone consumers can easily complaints about your product or business through any online forum or social media site.
Customers don’t have any obligation to be loyal to a particular business, so once they are dissatisfied with your service they can easily search for your competitors. Customer service is the backbone of any successful business which means providing a positive experience to your customer should be your priority. Since consumer business complaints are inevitable, how then can you effectively respond to complaints?
Don’t Keep Them Waiting
Based on research, more than 85% of customers expect businesses to respond to their emails within one hour and about 42% of them expect a response time of one hour on social media. In reality, one hour or less is not enough to resolve complaints of many customers, at least addressing them is possible. Don’t keep customers waiting, do inform the customer as soon as possible if you will need more time to look into the customer’s complaint. It might worsen the situation as a customer might assume you don’t care about him/her, you have bad customer service when you fail to inform or respond to them.
You should consider setting up an automated response if you know you won’t be able to respond fast. It could be a contact us form that will trigger an email on completion telling the customer you will get back to them soon. This will serve as an assurance to the customer that his/her message has been received even though it does resolve the customer complaint. Remember not everyone likes to wait for no reason but once they are certain you are working on their complaints can at least wait in expectation of a possible solution.
Hear Them Out And Apologize
Whatever the complaint is, hear your customer out to know exactly what their experience is and then apologize. The fact that the conversation takes place on phone or in person doesn’t mean you should not address every complaint on various channels. Hearing them out and apologizing doesn’t mean you are admitting to every customer complaint but there is a need to hear them out without interruptions and to consider their opinion or sentiment. Even if you are not in agreement with them, ensure you understand why your customer is angry. The fact that your customer had a disappointing experience should be your concern not simply because they dislike your product. At times all you just need to do to resolve a problem is to listen and apologize
Providing Solution Should Be Your Focus
Lack of information or misunderstanding could have added up to the complaint but making them know the intention of your company might help in calming them down. You should explain to your customer or consumer and not make excuses once you have listened to their complaint and apologize. In the process of explaining to your customer try keeping it short to avoid another argument and ensure your focus during the conversation is more on providing a solution. Knowing fully well that you can’t just change your company’s operations based on one person’s opinion, you should not make promises you don’t mean or plan to keep.
You can look into the complaint to see how the problem can be avoided later in the future. Explaining the possible actions you plan to take will prove to the customer that you value his/her complaint. If possible you can offer the customer a gift card for future purchases which can make the consumer come back with the hope of having a better experience.
Use Complaint to Your Advantage
Consumer complaints can be used to your advantage even though they can be annoying, uncomfortable, stressful and time-consuming. You should appreciate those that complain because they took the time and energy to let you know how your business can improve. Without their complaint and feedback, you might not be able to provide good service to your customers.
On every platform make it easy for customers to submit a complaint by making your email addresses and phone numbers easy for them to find. You must find out the possible reason for most of your consumer complaints and how to resolve their problems. And find ways to motivate your customer service team so they can go an extra mile in satisfying your consumers. Make use of the tips mentioned above for an effective response.
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