Some business owners dread getting complaints from customers. Others relish the opportunity a problem provides for turning an unhappy customer into an advocate, someone who's pure marketing gold dust, the kind of client marketers kill for.
A client for whom you've resolved a problem usually ends up more loyal and dedicated than someone who has never encountered an issue. Much the same goes for handling customer questions and queries well. Getting it right boosts your brand's image and reputation, and makes people trust you more. Better still, those who have enjoyed good customer service tend to recommend the business to their friends, and word of mouth recommendations also count as marketing gold dust.
On the other side of the coin, people who have had a bad customer service experience or unresolved problem tend to tell more people about their experience than happy people do. And the advent of social media means someone who thinks you've mishandled a complaint can tell literally thousands of others via their social networks.
It looks like handling customer complaints in the right way can be of serious benefit to a business' bottom line. In a world where it costs more to win a new customer than it does to hang onto an existing one, it makes a lot of sense to prioritise customer queries and complaints. But not every business owner is temperamentally suited to the role, or has the time to dedicate to it. Luckily we can do it for you.
How we harness complaints and queries for positive results
Here's how we keep our clients' customers happy in a customer support role.
1.Reacting to a complaint or query instantly, without delay – something you can't always achieve when you're time-poor, focused on growing the business
2.Treating the customer with respect and consideration – sometimes a challenge when you're so close to the business
3.Taking all the details to get a clear picture of what's gone wrong – something that takes time and patience
4.Remaining calm and polite throughout – not always easy for a business owner who's emotionally invested in their organisation
5.Returning calls and emails quickly, within a specified time
6.Feeding back things that you can improve – so you can ensure your customers won't encounter the same problem again
7.Feeding back common queries - so you can include the right information on your website and prevent future queries
8.Taking a firm but fair approach – so everyone concerned feels they have been treated well
9.Handling every query or complaint with the same level of care and attention
10.Recording every query or complaint for your records, so you can keep your customer database / customer management system up to date
11.Treating people the way we like to be treated ourselves
12.Actually delivering a practical solution, not just a shoulder to cry on
13. Following up serious complaints to check people really are happy with the outcome
14.Using complaint analysis - Has it happened before, how often, is there a pattern and has the same customer raised the issue before?
15.Apologising – something a lot of people find really hard, but easier for us because we're emotionally one step removed from the business
16.Putting quality over speed – it's more important to do a good job than resolve the issue as fast as possible
If you're not making the most of customer complaints and questions, we'll be delighted to talk about handling customer service and support functions for you. Let's talk.
Call us on 01273 447111