Recording and acting on customer complaints provides a second chance to put things right. Dissatisfied customers tell others. The average dissatisfied customer tells 8 to 16 people, while 10% will tell more than 20, then they don't buy your product.
Dissatisfied customers don't complain but simply switch brands or suppliers. Customers that do complain are well treated and tell others and continue purchasing, 92% of these complainers are satisfied.
How can we benefit from complaints?
Complainers are, negatively marketing the store and directly offsetting the impact of your service efforts and your advertising.
Despite our best attempts to do it right the first time we will sometimes get it wrong. There will be upset, irate or occasionally aggressive customers. How we handle those customers will determine whether or not they become lost customers.
95% of customers who have a complaint that was handled efficiently and promptly will not only continue to do business with you but will become even more brand loyal.
The 5 golden rules to maximise on customer complaints:
1. Listen with understanding
When the customer is complaining, listen and absorb. You can take notes of the problem but don't interrupt - that will only increase his or her frustration and anger. Try to understand and show concern.
When the caller has finished you might say something like:
"Mrs Jones, that is certainly not satisfactory. Let me see what I/we can do to correct the problem."
2. Ask questions
Use open questions to complete your understanding of what happened like: "What part of the service were you not happy with?" or "What exactly is it you don't like about the product?"
The fact you have taken steps to ask questions and note the customers points she or he has raised will help diffuse the complaint and anger.
3.Show empathy (Apologise or let them know you are sorry they feel that way)
When the complaint is legitimate, apologise, whether you were responsible or not. You are the company in your customers eyes. Apologise on the Stores behalf. Never blame someone else!
4. Take fair and corrective action
Make sure the solution you offer is fair. Obtain the customers agreement to it and make sure you honour the commitment.
This will most likely prevent the customer from taking his/her business elsewhere. You should say something like: "Mrs Jones, I will give you a complimentary voucher for a ...? and I will send it to your address within the next 3 business working days."
5. Remain courteous
The customer is not 'going off' at you personally. Do not take the comment personally. If you remain calm and courteous you will gain control of the discussion and will most likely turn the customer from upset/irate to friendly.
Don't ever lie to the customer. A lie compounds the problem!
Remember... A customer can forgive your mistakes but can not forgive your wrong attitude.
The customer will just go away and will not come back.