From my point of view good customer service is directly interrelated with the way a company chooses to deal with customer complaints . Regardless of the high service levels you may offer , the methods you choose to solve problems and deal with complaints will act as a real indicator in the pursuit of service excellence .
Useful tips may help you handle customer complaints :
Proactively manage complaints . Monitor the real service levels compared with customer expectations . When service level falls below the established standards , then assume that complaints will follow. Place a process for your reps to cohesively follow and build service recovery mechanisms for your answers ( e.g. gift vouchers, special discounts, extended periods of service etc..)
Have into mind that what mainly annoys customers during a complaint resolution process is : length of time it takes to solve their issue, lack of information ( when the rep doesn’t know what to answer), different answers given by different reps
Capture the data. Ensure you have an open process, an easy and accessible way for your customers to complaint in various channels and touchpoints . Invite your customers to complaint via a straightforward mechanism. Thank them for their feedback and make them feel that their effort is appreciated.
The information you receive from a complaint must be acted upon with speed , empathy and honesty
Ensure your people in the service roles are empowered to answerand solve issues with speed and specific actions . A complainers will always need an answer
Listen effectively . Give your full attention and actively take in what you hear, interpret it and be able to act on it . Make a conscious effort to understand how the speaker is feeling
Show that you are listening. Express you have received the message , clarify if needed or probe for extra information. Paraphrase what the customer has said to show you are focused on your conversation
Ask good questions to demonstrate you are interested not only in what has happened but also in thinking about possible solutions
Be flexible and natural. Of course there are mistakes . We all make them everywhere, but overall mistakes represent a small percentage of things that go wrong . Guiding questions keep customers focused on specifics .
Apologize for the inconvenience has been caused to the client but avoid taking the blame without having done any investigation
Use positive language and focus on what “you can do” for the customer
Show you care , use empathy statements and align your tone of voice in a soft and warm pace
Dealing effectively with customers’ complaints takes work . Training your people in these skills helps them feel confident , empowered and able to make a difference . The good news is that the better people get at listening & handling complaints the more effective they will be at communicating effectively with everyone in their daily lives.
It’s a set of skills that really rewards .