What to do when customers complain…
Businesses spend so much of their money acquiring customers, yet can lose them over one complaint.
All of us, at some point in our careers will have a few customers who complain. It’s the way we deal with these dissatisfied, even angry, customers that makes the difference. In my book, “How to Get Customers To Call, Buy and Beg for More”, I mention that one dissatisfied customer, through word-of-mouth, could cause 100 or more customers to stop doing business with you.
There are times that the customer is justified in their complaints, and other times they are not. You all know that the handling of a dissatisfied customer can have a far-reaching impact on that customer.
I remember reading an article in the American Management Association magazine that the average satisfied customer tells three people about their experience, but the average dissatisfied customer will tell up to eleven other people. Now with Twitter and other social media, that number can be in the thousands.
The first thing I would do when a customer complains is to make a positive reassuring statement to the customer. I might say, “I want you to know that I will get something done about your problem.”
Then I’d acknowledge that the person is upset by saying, “I can see that you are very upset with us, and I am sorry you have a problem, but I’m very glad that you called it to my attention.
I’d then ask them, “What would make you Happy in settling this problem?” Then I’d settle with them. I’d say that I was truly sorry that they encountered this problem, that I was going to do exactly what they requested, and that I wanted to keep them as a valued customer.
The reason I’m writing this is because a company I was doing business with just lost me as a customer; they didn’t resolve a problem to my satisfaction. They have lost a lot of future money with me. I don’t want you to lose business that way. Handle complaints like they are the most valuable thing at hand…because generally they are.
I won’t badmouth this company to other people I know, but I sure won’t be doing business with them anymore.
Let me know what you think.