Nobody likes customer complaints. Being said that there is no business in this world that is immune to customer complaints. You own a business and of course, want to make your customers happy. The truth is that you can’t make everyone happy. At the end of the day, you will have complaints. As a business owner, your aim should be of keeping the complaints to a minimum number.
So, what to do when we get a customer complaint? You have to deal with them smartly. Here are the ten tips on how to handle customer complaints.
1. Understand your customers
Before you interact with the customers online or offline, you must understand them. Try to figure out who they are and what they want. In general, customers want three things from a business. One, they want you to listen to them, so do not ignore them. Two, they want you to give them respect, so treat them with at most respect. Three, they want their problem to be resolved. Whenever you are interacting with the customers, keep these three things in mind. Everything you do should be to fulfill these 3 needs.
2. Thank them
There is one good and one bad aspect of a customer complaint. The bad aspect is that it is a source of a negative review. It is quite difficult to remove Google negative review, once you receive. The good aspect is that you can evolve your business and make it more customer friendly. So, in other words, the people who are complaining are actually giving you opportunities to make your business better. So, always thank you customer irrespective of what the complaint is about.
3. Don’t argue
There is a saying in online reputation management – Do what needs to be done, and nothing else. In this case, a customer has an issue and your entire focus should be on fixing the problem. Do not defend yourself or your business. Doing so will create a conflict. Customer will say his point of view and you will say yours. Always remember people are watching. An online argument with the customer will show unprofessionalism. As a result, you tend to lose your reputation.
What if the mistake is on the customer’s side? Customer is king, and treat him like one. If there is anything that can be done, do it. Do not hesitate to ask sorry, even if the mistake is not yours. Arguments spoil customer relationships. And in the end, customers tend to opt your competitors over you. That is where your business gets affected.
4. Showcase company’s desire to improve
Understanding customer needs is one of the most important parts of online reputation management. Customer complaints are filled with concerns. Understand those concerns and make them feel you value them. Further, showcase your desire to improve your services to suit the customer needs.
Let us take an example. If a customer complains that a product was delivered late, you might say, “We understand how quick delivery is important to you, we are working on finding a better solution.” Doing so will establish solid credibility. After all, that is the ultimate goal of online reputation management companies.
5. Bind your employees with your business values
Your employees may not have the same emotion towards the business that you have. Hence, they might not embrace your business values. Take time and explain to them how your online reputation matters and what are the things that need to be done and what are the things that need to be avoided. Below are some things that you can explain to them.
● Importance of customers in your business
● Importance of their feedback, complaints, and review.
● Why it is important to be calm while dealing angry, unsatisfied or hard to please customers.
● What can be done to reduce future complaints?
6. Isolate serial complainers
Who is a serial complainer? A complainer who loves to complain repeatedly and never gets satisfied. Every business has its own serial complainers. You too might have some. Isolate these people from your business. It is the only solution to the problem. That is because you can not win over them. No matter how hard you try to please they will come back with another complaint. In the end, they will increase the count of your Google negative reviews.
7. Offer options
ORM experts say satisfying your customers should be your ultimate goal. So, do not always try to fix the problem. Sometimes the problems are complicated and may require time. And customers usually do not like to wait. Therefore, the best thing to do here is to provide alternate options and let the customer decide.
Here is an example. Consider you sell fans. A customer is complaining about the ceiling fan he took a couple of days back. If it is taking a week to fix the issue for some reason, it is better to offer a brand new ceiling fan in exchange with the current one. This will show how much you care customers and establishes solid credibility.
8. Keep in touch with the customer
A customer complained about your product. As a good business owner, you resolved the issue as soon as possible. This should not be the end of the story. You should keep in touch with the customer and ask whether he or she is facing any problem again. This is something that will differentiate you from your competitors. This will make the customer genuinely feel the care you have on them.
9. Find a permanent solution
It is quite possible that your business has a specific problem and your customers are complaining about the same. Each customer is highlighting the same issue. In other words, one problem is causing several negative Google reviews. In this case, you should give more attention to this issue over others and find a permanent solution. Once your Google My Business page is flooded by negative reviews, it damages your reputation to the core. As a result, you may lose both existing and new customers.
10. Ask to leave a review
Once you have resolved the issue and made the customer happy, ask him or her to leave a review on popular platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Amazon, etc. Once the problem is solved, the customer is more likely to leave a positive review. That is how you avoid Google negative reviews and increase positive reviews. Just in case, if the customer had already given a negative review, ask him or her to update the review.