Even the best companies occasionally receive complaints from customers. It’s just an inevitable part of running a business. And while your first instinct might be the roll your eyes or to argue with the customer, you have to remember the money you could be losing if you don’t solve the customer’s problem. Don’t forget, today’s angry customer can tell thousands of people about their bad experience through blogs, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, forums, consumer review websites, and more. In short, the customer is in the driver’s seat, and it’s your job to make sure they don’t run your @$$ over.
So, what should you do when a customer complains?
• Listen to their complaint—The biggest you can make is to try to argue with the angry customer. Look, it’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong, and it’s not about winning an argument. Because even if you win the argument, you still lose the customer. That’s why you need to shut your mouth and just listen to the customer’s complaint. Try to put yourself in their shoes so you can understand where they’re coming from.
• Ask what they’d like for you to do—Rather than immediately going to the “Our company policy is to…” card, just ask the customer what they’d like for you to do to rectify the situation. Odds are, they have a solution in mind (e.g. full refund, gift certificate, etc.), and asking them puts the decision in their hands. As a result, they’re likelier to be satisfied with the final outcome because they helped to decide it.
• Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver—While you want to do everything in your power to keep the customer happy, don’t make the deadly mistake of making a promise you can’t deliver on. Before you commit to anything, you better be darn sure you can do it. Otherwise, the problem will worsen when you break your promise, and at that point, you might as well kiss the customer goodbye.
• Make sure it doesn’t happen again—Any time you deal with a customer complaint, you need to learn something form the situation. Even if it wasn’t something that was technically your fault, you have to find a way to avoid having the same situation pop up again in the future.
Dealing with customer complaints isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world, but it’s something you have to learn to master. Share your tips for dealing with angry customers in the replies.