7 Tips to Handle Consumer Complaintsby Pawan R. Cyber Law
Especially if your business is a large one, your customer complaint handling system is very important. No business is perfect, and no product, no matter how well made, is immune to error. And no matter how well your business operates, your customers will still find things to complain about. That’s okay. It’s completely normal. You should value the complaints you receive as suggestions of ways your business’s weak points can be improved. That being said, here are 7 tips to keep in mind when handling consumer complaints over the phone.
Minimize Screening – When a customer takes time out of his day in order to contact the company and complain about a product, they are generally irritated. This is natural, and a consumer complaint responder should be aware of this fact when they start the job. One of the fundamental goals of complaint response, then, is to prevent the level of irritation the customer feels from growing between when he picks up the phone and when the issue is actually handled. Customers’ anger only becomes amplified, however, with every passing second of wait-time they experience on the line. In order to minimize the amount of exacerbation your customer feels, you should attempt to minimize the amount of time they are on hold and maximize the amount of time they are talking to an actual person (but make sure whoever the customer is talking to is someone with the power to help).
Explain All Transfers – Never, NEVER, transfer the customer without first explaining why you are transferring the call and to whom you are transferring. Being blindly pushed to another representative for no apparent reason makes the customer feel powerless and will often make him feel the company he is complaining to does not respect his call. Both these things will make him even more agitated than he already is.
Get All the Facts – Making sure to get a clear and detailed account of the issue before actually attempting to solve it serves two purposes. The first reason is more obvious; it allows you to clearly diagnose and understand the issue and, if necessary (see point #1), transfer the customer to just the right person to help. The second reason is that it allows the customer some venting time. When he is given the chance to lay out his issue clearly and reasonably, it may very well help him to cool down and clear his brain a bit. After that happens, a more civilized and anger-free phone conversation will follow.
Complaints Are Gifts – Like we already touched upon, complaints should never be taken as attacks, and a complaint responder should not feel defensive when they are placed. Instead, the responders should treat the complaints as valuable learning experiences, gifts from the customer who was willing to expend time and energy on the call. Sometimes, responders may forget this, though, and start to resent complaints. This will manifest itself negatively to the customers who call. To prevent it, you may need to put measures in place that force your staff to look for the constructive value of complaints. For instance, have responders enter possible improvements the company could make into a database each time they field a call.
Put yourself in the Customer’s Shoes – This is perhaps the best advice a complaint responder can remember. When talking to a customer about an issue, the responder should try to look at the issue from the point of view of the caller. Not only will this make you seem more empathetic, making you more pleasant to talk to, but it gives you a better chance of actually resolving the issue. After all, you know your business better than the customer. If you were in the same situation, it stands to reason that you would have a better chance of solving it.
Don’t Use Passive Language – Never say something like “we’re sorry that you are having this problem.” It may not feel like it, but the wording (“… you are having this problem”) makes it seem like you are passing the buck. Just say “I’m apologize” rather than use passive-aggressive language.
Remember Customers are People – When you are handling dozens of complaining customers every day, it can start to feel like the person on the other end of the call is a workplace obstacle rather than an actual human being with cohesive thoughts and emotions. Remember this and don’t talk to the customers like a corporate stiff. On the other hand, don’t go too far and act unrealistically cheerful or pleasant. Just pretend you are talking to your friend about an issue he or she is having.
Handling customer complaints online or over the phone is an art, and these are only several of the most important tips to remember. For those tricky consumer complaints, one can simply log on to of the consumer review sites online and report their grievance there. The best part about review sites is that you find hundreds of people facing similar issues as yours thereby allowing you to generate awareness, connect, and seek solutions.
About The Author: The Author is an avid blogger and a scam reporter. He is constantly in a search for unethical online consumer frauds and reports them on popular sites. Being an enthusiast and a consumer fraud victim himself, he has got various tips and tricks on how to avoid being fooled. For those who have already been victimized, he suggests ways one can file consumer complaints online so as to seek justice.
Created on Dec 31st 1969 19:00. Viewed 0 times.