Even if you run your business carefully and are very organized, you will have to deal with unhappy or unsatisfied customers sooner or later. You simply can’t please everyone. Of course, you have to try to, but if you fail, you need to face the consequences.
If customers complain directly to you, you should be grateful. Customers have many opportunities to share their unhappiness with your business publicly, which can harm your brand’s reputation. Receiving negative feedback privately in your social media inbox gives you more time and space to make things right before the negative experience gets out of hand.
The causes of customer dissatisfaction stem from the differences between expectations regarding a product or service and its actual performance. Sometimes customer complaints are justified, and sometimes they’re not. However, no matter the reason behind the dissatisfaction, you can’t ignore the complaint.
There are several models for complaint management, but the following five steps are most essential and should be followed:
Yes, you should reply to all customer complaints. What’s more, you should pay special attention to every piece of negative feedback you receive and investigate what caused those customers to be unsatisfied with your product or service.
If a customer’s complaint is justified and your company made a mistake, you should definitely say that you are sorry. If their complaint does not reflect reality, you should still be professional and treat the customer with respect, but you should try to prove that they are not right instead of apologizing.
You should do everything possible to fix your mistake. If you sent a faulty product, replace it with a new one. If a feature of your software doesn’t work properly, fix it as soon as possible. However, there are some issues you can’t fix right away. In such cases, you should try to compensate for the mistake your company made. For example, if you run a restaurant and a customer is not happy with a meal they were served, you can offer them a free lunch or extra drinks as a form of compensation.
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