For any established or even for an emerging business, the most terrible nightmare is to lose customers. Gaining customers and increasing your customer base involves enormous amount of effort, and there is denying that it requires equal efforts, if not more – to maintain great customer retention.
However, companies are often left in doldrums, when customers start moving to competitors. Thereafter, they have a tough time to figure out what exactly went wrong to foster customer dissatisfaction.
More often than not, you just need to get the basics right to ensure that you are able to retain your customers, namely – customer complaint handling. Handling customer complaints in an efficient manner will lead to greater customer loyalty and will minimize customer frustration.
The following pointers will give you a good understanding of what exactly needs to be done for better customer complaint management:-
The first step towards better customer complaint handling is to hone your active listening skills. If your customers are fuming, let them vent their anger, and you ideally should cast away the temptation to respond to their concerns. This way, you will be in a better position to address their issues. Sometimes, customers only expect someone to carefully listen to their problems rather. Therefore, resist the urge to jump the gun and fully listen to whatever customers have to say.
Understand & Empathize
“Before you criticize someone or be defensive, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you are a mile away and in their shoes.” This quote perfectly sums up how you should behave with your customers, when they are trying to explain their complaints to you. While they are complaining, try to put yourself in their shoes and question how you would have reacted if you had a bad customer experience. This will help you to be empathetic to their complaints, and develop a bond with the customer.
Never Pass the Buck
Your customer has called to register a complaint. Ideally, each complaint should be handled by a single customer rep. When customers are in a bad mood, the last thing that they want is for you to transfer the call to a different person or department. Customers loathe reiterating their complaints and therefore contact center managers should ensure that the rep handling customer complaints possesses adequate knowledge to deal with any given situation.
Pro-Solution rather than Pro-Apology
While offering an apology to placate customers is very essential during customer complaint handling, you shouldn’t be over apologetic. What your customers are really looking for is for you to come up with a solution to address their grievances and not mere apologies. Train your reps in such a way so that they are able to focus on providing a solution. The greater number of customer complaint that you can solve, the greater are your chances to strengthen the customer relationship and eventually, spread a good word about your brand.
What makes a good complaint management system, a great one? It is going an extra mile and trying to follow-up with your customers after you have resolved their issues. An email, a phone call, or simple a thank you message goes a long way to show that you truly care for your customers. Furthermore, it also serves as an enquiry for to check whether customers are genuinely satisfied with the way handled their complaints.
What have been your experiences during customer complaint handling? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments below.