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How to Handle Complaints

Posted On - 10/04/2015 15:10:13

Reputations can be made or broken off the back of how you handle complaintsConflict can be anything from a curious look to an outright row. Previously, as part of the help we promised, we listed some characteristics for the different styles.

If you can recognise your issues, you're on the way to improving things. But what would you do differently?

Well, reputations can be made or broken off the back of how you handle complaints.

So this week we're going to talk about customer compaints and how to - the right way to - handle them.

We're also going to look at what that means for the different conflict handling styles and how your preferences may be making things difficult for you.

The defining feature of superior service is…

Turning a disgruntled customer into a happy one doesn't mean caving in and giving them what they think they wantHow YOU handle complaints.

You want to do the right thing by customers. You want to be a hero for them. So when you get a complaint, what should you do?

Sit there, take it in the neck and cough up. No? OK. Argue, fight the bloodsucking spongers off, telling the nutters and idiots to sling it. No?!

No - you know neither of these is right. Though from what we hear, this is how some of you actually you think of and behave with customers (you'd better believe it).

The bottom line is this: turning a disgruntled customer into a happy one doesn't mean caving in and giving them what they think they want.  And it doesn't involve humiliation, losing face and looking a weak fool either.

Leave the customer impressed with the fact they've been listened to, that their complaint has been heard and responded to professionally, that the outcome they get is fair and reasonable for them, and you'll crack it.

You'll give them what they really want. And you will be a hero.

What's a complaint?

You want to do the right thing by customers. You want to be a hero for them. So when you get a complaint, what should you do?When someone actually says "I want to complain…" or writes you an email?

Well, these would certainly be complaints if you got them. But is that it?

Not if you consider the definition "a complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction made to a responsible party" (Association for Consumer Research).

Dissatisfaction is altogether different. Dissatisfaction can stem from anything unresolved. A query about a job, an explanation that wasn't understood, a price objection, and so it goes on.

While these may not be formal complaints, they're all frustrations and irritations leaving customers exasperated. They may not have been presented as complaints, but they all need dealing with just the same.

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