How you handle complaints is an important issue for your business
No matter how efficiently you run your business there will forever be times when you cannot please everybody.
Some business owners adopt the attitude that if the consumer is dis-satisfied they can go elsewhere. And with that attitude they usually do.
Don’t forget that the consumer is expressing their opinion of the service they have received.
When consumers are not happy they have two options
- They will often simply not return and take their custom elsewhere. This is commonly referred to as”talking with their feet”. If this occurs you have no opportunity to address the problem and remember that they will often inform others and maybe write about it on a review site where it will be seen by thousands.
- Hopefully they may return to you to have their problem attended to. This gives you a perfect opportunity to rectify their problem and you could end up with a very happy and loyal customer
How you manage the complaint will depend on the type of problem.
- If the complaint centres around the attitude of you or your staff or the way you run your business then take it as an opportunity to streamline what you do.
- To you it might appear as “much ado about nothing” but to the consumer it may be a big issue.
- The complaint may involve a misunderstanding or something you habitually do that could be done better. In the first event you may solve everything by explaining and in the second event you may discover a way to make the practice much more efficient.
- At one time I had someone complain about something I had done. When I explained that my course of action was in her best interests and she was able to understand that my motivation was to help her,then she actually thanked me.
- I did end up receiving Christmas cards from her for about three years
- If the complaint is about a product you supplied, then maybe you can negotiate with the manufacturer on the clients behalf for repair or replacement.
- Look on complaints as a means of building your Online Reputation as a person who cares because you address the issue quickly
In other words do whatever you can to address the problem immediately.
The main thing I have learned about complaints from all my years in retail is that the consumer is more concerned about how you are going to rectify the situation than about the complaint itself. At times I have handled the complaint so well that the customer has asked for me on subsequent visits.
Of course the best way is to endeavour to avoid all occasions when a complaint can be made. In other words give service beyond the norm
I once promised a delivery to one gentleman and the courier let me down and could not deliver till the next day. It was urgent so I delivered it (a two hour round trip). All because I had made a promise
So the bottom line is
- Avoid as much as possible all occasions when someone could make a complaint
- Take every complaint seriously and regard it as an opportunity to improve the way you organise your business
- Listen to your customers. They will tell you the type of business they are happy to deal with
Integrated Marketing Systems is situated at Ormeau on the Gold Coast in Queensland but we can service clients all over Australia so….
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Integrated Marketing Systems
Jeff Phone: (07) 5546 6899 Mob: 0419 418 951