How To Take a Customers Complaint and Transform Their Experience Into One That Earns You a Compliment
As few as four percent of unhappy customers actually make their dissatisfaction known to the companies that drop the ball. That means hearing a customer complaint gives you a rare opportunity: the chance to make things right and, if research is to be believed, actually improve customer satisfaction by turning a problem into a solution.
That’s right: a negative situation turned into a positive will actually improve your customer’s perception of your business compared to customers who never experienced a problem in the first place. Making sure you handle complaints quickly, smoothly, and effectively can have your customers offering you compliments instead.
Listen Thoroughly to the Complaint
The first step in effectively addressing any customer complaint is to make sure you truly understand the problem. Don’t jump to conclusions: even if you think you know what their complaint is after the first few words are out of their mouth, keep listening until they’re done talking. It’s important that they are able to air their grievances. Not only that, but you might be surprised at what they’re actually asking for. It’s a learning opportunity for you and a therapeutic practice for them, so hear them out.
When you listen thoroughly, you get a full understanding of your customers and of how your company came up short. This gives you the ability to address that specific customers concerns and find ways to improve your internal processes to keep others from experiencing the same pain points.
Offer to Make It Right No Matter What
If your customer service team has to check and see if they are able to offer a refund, discount, or other compensation for something the customer perceives as a problem, that customer is already gone. You’ll have far more customers appreciative of a prompt concession than you will customers trying to take advantage.
Get protocols in place to address complaints, and empower your team to take more action when necessary. Ask your customers what you can do to make it right, and try to give them exactly what they’re after. Your business will benefit in the long run.
Hopefully you have your customers’ contact information, because this last step could be the most important. After an initial attempt at a resolution, contact them a few days later to make sure they are still satisfied. This is also a good opportunity to ask them to rate their customer service experience, which can provide you with even more insight. Your customers will appreciate that you’re still thinking of them. If they ever have a problem again, then they’ll be far more likely to come to you for a fix based on their previous experience rather than simply never doing business with you again.
Customers who have a great customer service experience can become brand evangelists even if things started out rocky with a complaint. When you do right by your customers, they won’t hesitate to tell others about it. If you’re able to pull off these steps to turn a customer complaint into a compliment, then you’re well on your way to some excellent customer retention rates.