If you own a business, chances are you have received a customer complaint at some point. While no one enjoys receiving negative feedback, it is important that your team responds in an effective way. Choosing to ignore customer complaints will only lead to poor reviews which could end up costing you potential customers. If responding to customer complaints is something that could use some improvement, follow these 5 steps.
Step One: Listen to the customer’s complaint.
One of your new clients calls in and tells your employee that they are upset because the kitchen cabinets that were installed were not the same that they had picked out with your design team. Instead of assuming that the client is mistaken, take the time to review what was ordered and what was actually installed. You may find that your team has made a mistake.
If you find that a mistake was made by your team, you should fix it immediately. You may also want to consider offering the customer a small discount for the inconvenience. Customers understand that mistakes happen, so as long as you accept responsibility and make a sincere effort to correct them, they will be forgiving.
Step Two: Take time to understand why they are upset.
Imagine you hired a contractor to add on a bathroom in your home. You had everything scheduled with the remodeling company, but when the day construction was set to start, no one shows up. You call the company to ask what's going on, and they tell you that they can't have anyone come out until the following week due to a scheduling conflict. As a customer, you have every right to feel upset and frustrated.
If this has happened to one of your customers, it's important to understand all of the reasons that they are agitated. Not only has their remodel been pushed back by a week, but maybe they had taken time off of work or adjusted their schedule so that they could have the remodel completed. Maybe they have family coming in and would have liked to have the remodel completed before their arrival. You should always take the time to understand why the customer is aggravated and do whatever necessary to correct it.
Step Three: Respond to the customer’s complaint.
Always respond to customer complaints! If your team doesn't respond, the customer will likely assume that you don't care. Ignoring negative feedback will typically result in poor reviews which will negatively affect your business. When your team does respond, make sure that they are empathetic, apologize for the mistake, and offer a resolution. If your company has made a mistake, you should fix it no matter how costly.
Step Four: Deliver what you promised.
If your custom home building company has promised to complete a client's home by February of next year, it should be ready for move in by that time. If you can't deliver what you promised, you need to take a step back and consider what is actually possible for your team. Maybe your expectations are set too high. Is there a lack of communication that is causing delays during construction?
Maybe there is a process that could be changed to help expedite construction? Take the time to make improvements to your business so that you can always deliver what you promise your clients.
Step Five: Revisit the customer’s complaint.
After a resolution has been reached, it is always a good idea to check back in with the client. When you do, consider asking the following questions:
- How are you enjoying your new home or remodel?
- Are you satisfied with the solution that we provided?
- Is there anything that our team can do to improve the customer experience?
- Would you recommend our company?
By asking these questions, you'll be able to learn more about their experience and what you need to do to refine your services for future customers.
Unfortunately, customer complaints are going to happen, so use them as an opportunity to make improvements to your business. Have you tried any techniques that have improved the way that your team responds to customer complaints? Let's talk about it! Comment below.