When you keep your customers happy, your sales will continue to grow. Accordingly, lack of attention to the customer and their concerns will have a negative impact on your bottom line. Complaints will happen, it's your response that will determine the relationship with the customer.
'Worse manicure ever! The paint was old and it was applied unevenly. The manager agreed that it was a poor job but just wanted to paint over it - no thanks!', comments a Connecticut customer via Yelp.
The opportunity is, how do you service dissatisfied customers today, and give forth on the extended customer experience for tomorrow.
Bill Hogg, who writes on dealing with unhappy customers, gives a process for complaint management:
- Customer complaints are usually not personal-When employees understand that the customer’s anger is directed toward the company, not the employee, they are better able to deal with the emotions of the customer.
- Focus on the customer rather than the complaint-Customer-focus will help the employee empathize or “walk in the shoes” of the customer. It will help them listen more sympathetically to a complaining customer — which is often all the customer wants.
- Attitude is everything in creating satisfied customers-Even the most irate customer will usually calm down when dealing with someone who is obviously doing their best to understand the customer’s situation.
- Empower employees to handle customer complaints themselves-Obviously, there will be a point when a more senior person must make a decision in dealing with a complaint, but empowering employees to deal with common complaints and issues on their own will go a long way toward creating a more positive customer experience and increasing employee engagement.
- Verify before taking action-Make sure that you ask what would make the customer happy and then verify before taking any action.
- Move quickly to resolution-Once a resolution is agreed, move quickly.
- Provide tools-Give employees options when dealing with difficult customers, or those with an issue the employee can’t resolve.
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