Approach customer complaints with an open mind to find ways your business can improve and grow. Being an advocate for customers is how you gain loyalty, and it takes commitment to excellent service from the top down to create a positive customer experience.
Unhappy customers are always right about one thing. Something went wrong, and it’s your responsibility to find a solution. When your customer service team uses phrases such as, “There’s nothing I can do” or “That’s not our policy,” it sends the message your business doesn’t care about solving problems.
Good customer service starts with hiring the right people and teaching them to ask useful questions instead of using dismissive language. Create guidelines for speaking with customers, and encourage your team to use phrases that motivate customers to open up. For example:
- I understand your concerns.
- That must have been so frustrating.
- Thank you for alerting us to this problem.
- What can we do to improve your experience with the product?
Provide timely responses, whether customers contact you through social media, your business website, or by phone. Customers need reassurance that you’re working on the problem, so it’s a good idea to set up a standard response policy to make sure every complaint is addressed right away. If you promptly apologize and get more details, customers are less likely to talk about their negative experiences online or with friends and family.
Good service leaves customers with greater trust and admiration for your business. If you offer compensation without dealing with the source of dissatisfaction, customers may still choose a competitor next time. Pick the right follow-up action to strengthen favorable opinions of your brand based on each customer’s needs:
- Offer a discount or future credit.
- Refund a product.
- Offer a replacement product or free repair.
- Provide one-on-one help choosing a better product solution.
- Upgrade the customer to a higher quality product free of charge.
- Act as a go-between if the problem involves other vendors or suppliers.
Apologizing isn’t enough to keep customers satisfied if they keep facing the same problems. Use every touchpoint to get feedback, make effective changes, and increase sales. Customers love your business the more you listen to problems and work hard to make future experiences better.