It is true, the way you handle a complaint can really make you stand out from the competition and make business relationships stronger.
There's no getting away from complaints, so lets embrace them.
Shine in the face of the competition.
When dealing with a complaint, welcome it, many arrive as a phone call and can catch you at a bad time.
When is a good time for a complaint?
Just take the call.
Always ask the person to be completely honest and tell you the whole story.
If they're angry, let them be angry and calmly say you will help them. Allow them to shout (I let them swear if they want to). The reason for this thinking, is the more they speak or shout without you cutting across them, the more it will reduce their frustration and getting their emotions out. You're actually diffusing the situation by just listening.
Once they've gone "puff" you can then step forward and then begin to make the difference.
LISTEN - Without interruption, I mean it, do not speak! Make lots of notes.
UNDERSTAND - Put yourself in their shoes, recognise and empathise with them, build trust.
CLARIFY - From your notes, talk to them and make sure you have everything covered.
EXPLAIN - What you will do for them, if you have to research the issue, let them know.
ACT - Work on the solution for the problem, make contact when you promised, even if it's to ask for more time, it's important you keep their trust.
EXPLAIN - The outcome and your reasons for doing so, answer any questions confidently.
CONFIRM - They understand, agree, accept and are satisfied.
Not every client will be completely satisfied with the outcome. However, if they trust that you've done your very best and you have confidently presented your outcome, they will become more accepting.
Emotions should be managed respectfully and subtly
In your response, cover every single point raised in the complaint
Ensure the facts are explained professionally and simply and clarify them
Maintain focus on the facts, this will help lead you to a realistic outcome and enable the client to understand, agree and be satisfied
Give simple and thorough factual answers
Helping draw the complaint to a close efficiently minimising the risk of repercussions and leading to the client accepting the outcome.
Not forgetting, the quicker the complaint is resolved and closed, the happier your customer will be and the better your time is managed.
Care for your customers, there's no business without them!