Handling Customer Complaints Effectively

Handling Customer Complaints Effectively
Prosell has been helping businesses around the world deliver sales and service performance improvements for nearly 30 years now. I would just like to share with you some of our experience and knowledge we’ve gained over this time and offer you a few tips in effective complaints handling.

Get it right, first time
Every business should have the objective of 100% service success – do it right - first time. Anything less will cost you money. The time and expense involved in recovering from a badly handled complaint should not be underestimated. Research shows that a customer, whose complaint has been resolved to their satisfaction, will tell an average of five people. However, a customer who has not had their complaint handled effectively, will tell ten people. So it makes good business sense to solve your customer complaints.

Make it easy to complain
Ensure that your complaints process is simple. For example, some organizations assign one staff member to own a complaint until it is resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. This is a clear and simple process for the client. Conversely, if your complaints procedure is complicated and customers are required to jump through a number of hoops, they will simply give up and take their custom elsewhere.

Own up to the service failure
Put your hands up and accept that you have made a mistake. Then ensure the problem is resolved quickly and to the satisfaction of the customer. Customers left uncertain about the outcome of a complaints process are not good for your reputation.

Empower your frontline teams to put things right
Give your frontline employees the ability to put things right fast, with the minimum of fuss. Where possible, encourage your staff to take the initiative, without the need to refer to a senior manager.

Improve customer skills through training and coaching
Ensure high standards of performance are embedded throughout your organisation - including your senior management team. Rather than just paying lip service to the agreed service standards, everyone needs to be emotionally committed to your goals – employee motivation, as well as ability, are essential if businesses are to offer exceptional customer service.

In particular, your frontline employees should be trained in customer service – so that even when they are under pressure, they can deliver the desired service standards and are comfortable in handling customer complaints effectively.

Monitor customer complaints and client losses
Identify and monitor key performance indicators. Where possible, pinpoint those parts of your systems where frequent problems occur and make improvements.

Increased customer loyalty makes good business sense
Handling customer complaints effectively increases customer loyalty. So it makes good business sense to employ excellent customer service skills throughout your organisation.

If you would like to talk about effective complaints handling and customer service training for your business, please get in touch.

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