Complaints: Problem Solvers in Disguise

27 04 2012

While it’s hard to think of customer complaints as a good thing, most of them are actually great problem-solving tools for your business. Valid complaints expose problems that cost your business time and money.

With that in mind, here are a few ways to deal with and learn from customer complaints:

  • Offer several convenient ways for customers to express their dissatisfaction, such as customer surveys, comment cards, a toll-free number, a dedicated email address, and an online feedback form.
  • Listen to customers, and let them tell their story without interrupting.
  • Apologize for the issue they are experiencing.
  • Take necessary actions immediately to resolve the issue and re-establish rapport.
  • Ask customers for suggestions for improvement. Sometimes the solution may be easier than you think.
  • Thank customers for bringing issues to your attention.
  • Gather as much data as you can about customer complaints, and share them within your business. While all issues should be addressed, you may want to start by fixing those that waste the most time and cost the most money.
  • Follow-up with customers to be sure their issues were solved and that they were satisfied with the outcome.

Customers who complain and have a problem solved are generally much more loyal than those who are simply happy with your business. Regardless of the issue at hand, one of the easiest ways to ensure customer satisfaction is by reminding them you’re all ears.

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