As a new entrepreneur, customer complaints can be disheartening, leading you to question your effectiveness and future as a business owner. A complaint may even make you so angry that you’re tempted to retaliate. Rather than accept defeat or lose your temper, reframe your mind to consider customer complaints as opportunities to learn and improve.
Some unhappy customers will reach out to you directly, hoping you can provide a swift solution. And this would be your best hope as it allows you to quietly solve the problem. Unfortunately, not everyone is like that. Customers who are dissatisfied with your products or services are often less likely to voice their displeasure directly to you and more likely to vent to others and shop elsewhere. They may post about their dissatisfaction on social media for all their family and friends to read. They may leave a scathing review on your business page.
It’s inevitable that a customer may complain about your company at some point. Your ability to deal with this in a pleasant and helpful way will determine how many consumers you retain. Here are some tips on managing customer complaints and resolving them quickly.
Genuinely listen or read
These days, most complaints come in the digital form; they may reach you via email, your website’s customer feedback form, a direct message on social media, or even a comment on your most recent social media post. Customer complaints can also come in through your customer service number, or the phone number people would use to place an order. Whichever channel a customer complaint arrives, remember to stay calm. Put your emotions aside for the moment to genuinely listen or read.
Resist the urge to react
The customer is upset, and if they are angry enough, they may start to fling some unsavory words and insults. Not only will you want to challenge the complaint, but you may want to go head-to-head with them on a personal level. While your instincts are natural and normal, giving into them can have dire consequences on the future of your business. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. And angering just one can have a massive trickle effect – damaging your reputation, so you lose current customers and ruin future opportunities with others.
Acknowledge and apologize
Rather than apologize for an error that you may or may not have committed, apologize for their experience. Say something like, “I’m sorry to hear that you’re not having the best experience with us. I assure you that we are examining how this happened. And I will contact you as soon as we have completed our investigation.”
Get all the facts
Investigate. Contact your courier partners for missing packages. Ask the last employee who interacted with the customer about what happened. Review your records to determine if the wrong product was sent by mistake.
Don’t wait too long
A customer that is angry and frustrated enough to complain has already lost their patience. The last thing you want to do is keep them waiting for too long and add more fuel to their fire. After your initial acknowledgment of their complaint, the best practice would be to not wait more than 24 hours to either let them know the status of the investigation or provide them with a solution.
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