Almost every business is bound to experience an unhappy customer. Remember, no matter how irate a customer may become, it's important to always maintain your professionalism. Therefore your BBB offers the following steps to help you take control, build trust and keep your customers coming back.
In short, this sentence means one thing - Solve the Problem. Apologize for the inconvenience and get on your way to resolving the problem. What matters to the customer is that you are willing and able to handle the problem presented to you. Don’t make the company look bad. Make everyone look great by being productive and proactive. If a situation warrants further investigation or action, that is another matter, don’t bring the customer into it.
A customer with a complaint may be angry and can expect resistance. By sympathizing you can defuse the situation. Statements such as “I understand how you feel,” or “I can see how you are upset by this” are often great phrases. Acknowledge the customer’s feelings without agreeing with their position. A friendly, open, non-defensive attitude lets the customer know how important they are to you.
Be sincere in expressing regrets that the customer has been inconvenienced or disappointed. If the company is at fault, admit it quickly and show your willingness to correct the error. If the error is the customer’s, allow him to save face. Remember, the purpose is to bring them back.
State the company position. Ask questions to find out if the customer understands company policy. If adjustments are in order, make them quickly, and cheerfully. If no adjustment is due, explain the company policy to the customer. If necessary, refer to the written agreement to help focus on what was agreed upon before the problem occurred.
The customer has expected resistance and is afraid you’ll do nothing about the problem. Fear must be eliminated before they can speak reasonably with you. “Mr. Customer, I am sure we can fix this for you,” or “Ms. Customer, we’ll do all we can.”
Get the Facts
People with complaints often generalize. They may start off saying that everything was bad, when in fact, only part of the transaction may have caused the problem. Ask questions, listen without interruption or argument, and restate your understanding by paraphrasing what you just heard. See the customer’s point of view.
Solve the Problem
Be proactive in proposing solutions. Between you and the consumer, you are the expert in your field. Think of some concrete ways to address the issue and discuss them with the consumer. Be open-minded and creative. If a consumer is requesting something that isn’t possible or isn’t allowed under your company’s policy, offer an alternative solution to the issue
Thank the Customer
Make the customer feel good. By now they’re a little embarrassed that they’ve created such a fuss. If they go away feeling that they’ve made a mountain out of a molehill, they may never come back. Be sure that you take the opportunity to thank them for the constructive criticism and allow them to save face.