Dealing with Client Complaints

The harsh truth about client behavior is that when dissatisfied, they are more likely to simply take their business elsewhere than make a formal complaint.

The process of making a complaint is often perceived as a long, arduous and often fruitless journey. Who has not spent an infuriatingly long time on hold with a customer service rep?

Client ComplaintsThe trick here is to position your company as one who values client opinions and creates channels that are fast, efficient and deliver results. Encourage client retention and you will see profits increase.

A thriving business creates clients who are willing to act as its strongest advocates.

Research shows that around 80% of clients who defect were satisfied with the original business. Something went wrong- finding the problem is imperative in order to survive and thrive.

Some of the world’s biggest restaurant chain operators employ a simply acronym for successfully dealing with client complaints:

These are the fundamentals for handling complaints. How well your business negotiates these five vital steps will ultimately determine the client’s decision.

“Believe, Listen, Apologize, Satisfy, Thank.”

Client complaints can be a stressful affair. Always apologize. By apologizing you are not necessarily acknowledging fault, but rather showing that you are apologetic that the customer is upset. Remaining calm is essential.

If accepting the complaint via phone, take notes. This will help you wade through the drama and get to the root of the issue. Keep all notes in one document or file, for easier problem assessment, or better still, a computer-based CRM system.

The customer will not always come to you. Be proactive when gathering feedback- a follow up call may unearth problems that would have led to defection if they were not addressed.

Easy access to customer support services is one of the most important aspects here. A hotline is not effective if the wait time is likely to incite further frustration for the client.

Provide options when it comes to service. Create a hotline, live online customer service rep and an in-store desk to handle complaints or negative feedback.

Seek advice when a problem seems difficult to resolve – get creative in your solutions. The ultimate goal is client retention and this requires a company-wide commitment to client satisfaction.




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