Do you know if you lost a customer today? Chances are good that you did and don’t even know it.
Studies have found that as high as 95% of customers don’t complain even when they have minor complaints about a business. They just don’t come back.
What does this mean to your business? First, make it easy for your customers to voice complaints. Many people are uncomfortable bothering managers and frontline employees especially with minor issues. And when they do, follow these 5 golden rules for handling them in a way that makes your customers feel valued and important.
After all, losing a customer impacts every area of your business and ultimately the ability to grow your business. Research shows that if you can address a problem quickly and efficiently, a customer will be 20% MORE loyal than before the problem occurred.
Golden Rules for Handling Customer Complaints
- Quickly Acknowledge.
Customers expect you to acknowledge the situation quickly and start addressing the situation. Nothing shows that you value your customer more than acknowledgment. If you don’t, they are likely to move on.
- Efficiently Handle.
Establish an efficient process for handling problems. Customers should expect to talk to one person who will do the leg work to solve the problem. Repeating the story when handed off to multiple people is frustrating. Don’t make the customer do the work to resolve the situation.
- Be friendly.
A bad attitude tells the customer that you don’t care about them or the problem. A positive, approachable attitude makes your customer feel valued. Smile, be pleasant and have a helpful attitude. It really isn’t that hard.
- Can Do.
Of course your company has rules and procedures. But customers don’t want to hear them. Tell the customer what you can do and options that are available for them.
- Make it right.
Don’t treat customers like they are the inconvenience. If your customer was inconvenienced in any way–an extra trip, time spent on the phone, delay in resolution, you must go above and beyond the ‘fix’. Discounting the price or some store credit will leave the your customer satisfied and assure a return visit. Have a service recovery plan that allows you to make it right for your customers.
Make sure every employee in your business understands these simple yet powerful golden rules when interacting with your customers. Your customers will feel valued. You will keep them as loyal customers and open up other opportunities to grow your business.