Whether your company uses customer service representatives, online live support or chatbots, managing customer complaints can be tricky and exhausting. But excellent customer service is essential, especially for startups or young businesses. So, no matter how you’re communicating with customers who have encountered snafus or issues with your products or services, you do need to ensure that your customers are heard and that they have a positive interaction with your company, even when they’re disappointed or upset.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind when managing customer complaints.
Listen to the customer
When communicating with your customer, don’t assume you know what their issue is, even if they’ve provided information via a form, email or bot before speaking with you – listen to what they have to say. Don’t interrupt them until they’re finished speaking and ask any clarifying questions you need in order to get as much information as possible to fully understand the difficulty they’re having.
Repeat your understanding of the issue
Once the customer has explained what their complaint is and you’ve clarified everything, repeat to them the issue as you understand it. Make sure they confirm that you understand what they’re saying so that you don’t waste any time trying to fix a problem you don’t fully grasp.
Stay calm and positive
No matter the customer’s demeanour, you should do your best to remain calm, positive and polite. By simply keeping your voice level and assuring the customer that you understand their issue, you may be able to diffuse a person’s anger or frustration. That said, if you are receiving verbal abuse, you should follow your company procedures on transferring the customer to a manager.
Actively look for a solution
Once you have a complete understanding of the issue the customer is facing, assure them that you either have or are actively looking for a solution to help them.
If it’s an easy fix that they could have figured out by simply visiting an FAQ page, don’t sigh or roll your eyes or get snippy with them – give them the information they need and then politely let them know that the company website has a robust FAQ section, in case any other issues arise.
If the solution is somewhat more challenging or will take some time on your end, let the customer know that you’ll need a few moments and will get back to them once you have an answer. Don’t keep them on hold endlessly – check back in every so often to let them know you’re still there. Keep them in the loop on your progress so that they’re confident they’re being taken care of. They may be as grateful for the updates as they are for the solution.
In the hours following your chat with the customers, be sure to follow up with them to see if the solution you provided works and to collect any feedback they may have on the quality of the customer service. This will help you and your company fine-tune your complaint management processes, training and customer experience.
Keep in mind that providing top-notch customer service is a way to gain customer loyalty, and that customers talk. They’ll use social media and review websites to let others know about their experience, so make sure that it’s a good one.